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pis!f)op Joisept) plount Cjjegfjire 

Photograph by Bayard IVoottcn 


From a portrait by Mrs. Arthur Nash, in the possession of Miss Sarah 
Cheshire, Raleii;h, North Carolina. 

IB^i^ TLiit anb Morfe 


Historiographer of the Diocese of North Carolina 

Cfjapel Ilin 


COPYRIGHT, 1 94 1, 




Sch. R. 

By Edwin A. Penick, Bishop of North Carolina 

One of the many characteristics for which Bishop Chesh- 
ire is remembered by his friends and admirers was his 
uncompromising adherence to the last letter of truth. 
An inaccurate or careless remark often brought forth 
from him a startling correction. His own historical papers 
were loyal to such facts as patient research could dis- 
cover. His official documents were models of lucidity 
and precision. His counsel was penetrating and true and 
bracing like fresh air in a stuffy room. His conversation, 
particularly when he was describing the very human 
traits of men and women he had known, was full of de- 
lightful surprises because of his breathtaking forthright- 
ness. He even carried in his pocketbook an exact paper 
pattern of a hugh mountain trout he once caught as doc- 
umentary evidence of his best fish story. 

This characteristic of Bishop Cheshire must have been 
in the author's mind when he wrote the following pages. 
I believe that the good Bishop would approve this biog- 
raphy for its restraint and disciplined faithfulness to the 
record of a true life. 


Raleigh, North Carolina 

February lo, 1941. 


From my earliest memories I can recall the annual visits 
of Bishop Cheshire to the home of my parents. As very 
young boys my brothers and I were fond of looking at 
him, for with his flowing white beard and rather stocky 
figure, he appeared a perfect embodiment of Santa Claus. 
He readily gained our confidence with his frank and 
open manner and his keen understanding of the sort of 
things children were interested in. As I grew older he 
won my complete affection and admiration. With his 
many relatives and friends throughout North Carolina, I 
felt particularly honored when he wrote me letters from 
England during his visit there in 1920. The multipHcity 
of such personal attentions was one of his characteristics 
which gained for him the lasting affection of his people. 
Although I have felt inadequate to the task of writing 
Bishop Cheshire's life, I have found the work a labor of 
love and a distinct privilege. Some persons will un- 
doubtedly be disappointed that more stories of and about 
the Bishop have not been included. The use of many of 
his anecdotes has purposefully been avoided, since most 
of them are much more delightfully told by the Bishop 
himself in his charming volume of reminiscences, Non- 
nulla. My primary object has been to present his accom- 



viii Preface 

plishments as deacon, priest, and bishop. His work in 
these periods of his career merits preservation in some 
permanent form for its own sake as well as for the 
benefit of future churchmen. Also, an attempt has been 
made to portray the Bishop's dynamic personaUty and 
its striking influence upon the character of his work and 
of his human contacts. 

I wish to gratefully acknowledge the kind assistance 
given me by Mr. Joseph B. Cheshire, Miss Sarah Cheshire, 
and Mr. James W. Cheshire in reading this work and for 
the generous loan of invaluable manuscripts. I also wish 
to express my appreciation to my wife, Emily Dewey, 
for her untiring help in criticizing and reworking the 
manuscript, and to Bishop Edwin Anderson Penick and 
Rev. Alfred S. Lawrence for reading the work. 

Laimence F. London 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina 
December i, 1940. 








III SAINT Peter's parish 27 

iv election to the episcopate 46 

v first years in the episcopacy ^1^ 

vi man and bishop 77 

vii historian 88 

viii work among the colored people .... 99 

ix development and conclusion of the 

bishop's work 109 

NOTES 127 



INDEX 135 

pisifjop Sos^epf) plount Cljesifjite 



Youth and Mmihood 

It was eleven o'clock one morning in the middle of 
September, 1869, when Joseph Blount Cheshire stepped 
into a classroom to teach a course in Latin. Before him 
sat six boys, several of them older than himself. He was 
only nineteen years old, and he was about to begin his 
first job. The school was St. Clement's Hall at Ellicott 
City, Maryland, and the assignment for that day was one 
in Sallust. About all young Cheshire could recall of that 
particular passage was its being one of the most difficult 
he had ever tried to translate. He was faced with the 
alternative of bluffing his way through or frankly con- 
fessing to the boys that he was thoroughly unprepared 
to teach the assignment. So, boldly facing his class, he 
declared: "Young gentlemen, it is many years since I 
last looked into Sallust, and this passage, Caesar's speech, 
I remember as the most difficult passage in this book. I 
am not prepared to deal with it today, but I will en- 
deavor to be ready for you tomorrow." 

This was a rule of life which he followed consist- 
ently, to deal frankly and honestly with every situation, 
no matter what it might cost him personally. Complete 

2 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

fearlessness was one of Bishop Cheshire's most pro- 
nounced characteristics. In his announced views on pub- 
He questions, in the administration of his diocese, and in 
his historical writings, his courage was often manifested. 
His was not, however, a character which could be de- 
scribed in a few striking phrases. The man can best be 
understood by observing his deeds as they developed 
from early youth until the end of a long life of four 
score and two years. 

In the mid-nineteenth century the quiet little town of 
Tarboro, North Carolina, was like many other small 
towns to be found in the Old South. It was one of the 
oldest places in the state, having been founded in the 
colonial period and given the distinction of a borough 
town. Tarboro contained a fairly large number of old 
established families and a few persons of some promi- 
nence in the state. Not the least of these was the Rev. 
Joseph Blount Cheshire, Rector of Calvary Episcopal 
Church, a man who exemplified in his life and work the 
best traditions of the Episcopal clergy. 

Dr. Cheshire came of an old North Carolina family 
which for several generations had lived in the Albemarle 
section. One of his ancestors was Joseph Blount, who 
was a member of the first vestry of St. Paul's parish, 
Edenton. His parents, John Cheshire and Elizabeth 
Blount, lived in Edenton, where he was born in Decem- 
ber, 1 8 14. He received his education at the Edenton 
Academy and at the Episcopal School for Boys. The lat- 
ter school had just been founded by Bishop Ives and was 
located in Raleigh on the site where now stands St. 
Mary's Junior College. After completing his course at 
the Episcopal School, he took up the study of law in 
Raleigh under the supervision of Thomas P. Devereux. 

Youth and Manhood 3 

In 1836 he was admitted to the bar, but he evidently did 
not find the law congenial to his tastes, for he soon 
abandoned it. He decided to enter the ministry, and in 
1838 began his studies for that field of work under the 
direction of Bishop Ives. 

During his preparation for the ministry he made the 
acquaintance of the botanist and clergyman, Dr. AI. 
Ashley Curtis. The interest which Dr. Curtis stimulated 
in him for plants and flowers bore abundant fruit. The 
beautiful grounds surrounding Calvary Church stand 
today as a living expression of his love for flowers and 

By February, 1840, Dr. Cheshire had advanced suffi- 
ciently far in his theological studies to be ordained 
deacon by Bishop Ives. The Bishop placed him in charge 
of the parishes at HaUfax and Windsor. The next year 
he was ordained priest and was given Calvary Church, 
Tarboro, in addition to his other work. Shortly after 
taking over this work he organized a mission at Scotland 
Neck, which in time became Trinity parish. Three par- 
ishes and a mission was a large assignment for a young 
clergyman, but Dr. Cheshire was not daunted by the 
extent of his duties. From the first his chief interest was 
in the work at Tarboro. In consequence of this and the 
desire of the Calvary Church people for more of his 
time, he gave up the church at Halifax in 1848 and the 
one at Windsor the following year. He retained his work 
at Scotland Neck, however, until 1869. His pastorate at 
Calvary Church continued for more than half a century. 
During this long rectorship a beautiful new church was 
built, to which he himself contributed generously. 

Dr. Cheshire will probably be best remembered in the 
history of the American Episcopal Church for the part 

4 Bishop Joseph Blou?it Cheshire 

he played in healing the breach between the northern and 
southern branches of the church following the close of 
the Civil War. He waged a determined fight in the dio- 
cesan convention of 1865 to send deputies to the Gen- 
eral Convention to be held that fall in Philadelphia. The 
advocates of reconciliation were successful, and Dr. 
Cheshire was elected one of the deputies to the General 
Convention. At Philadelphia he used all his influence in 
helping to bring about the reunion of the church. 

Two years after he took charge of Calvary parish, 
Dr. Cheshire was married to Elizabeth Toole Parker, 
daughter of Theophilus Parker, his senior warden, and 
Mary Toole Parker. The next most important event in 
his life was the birth of his son and namesake, Joseph 
Blount, who was bom on March 27, 1850. In the course 
of time Dr. and Mrs. Cheshire had five other children, 
Theophilus Parker, John, Elizabeth, Annie Gray, and 
Katherine Drane. John and Elizabeth, however, died in 
their second year. 

Joseph Blount was bom in the house built many years 
before by his grandfather, Theophilus Parker. His father 
and mother had lived in it since their marriage and had 
come into its possession after the death of his grand- 
father. When Joseph was born his parents' household 
consisted of themselves, his grandmother, an aunt, and 
two cousins. With the subsequent births of his brothers 
and sisters his family was indeed a large one. The give 
and take of a large family probably played some part 
in the development of the tolerant and unselfish charac- 
ter which so distinguished him in manhood. 

Young Cheshire received his earliest education under 
the direction of his mother, who taught him reading, 
writing, and something about numbers. He did not at- 

Youth and Manhood 5 

tend a formal school until he was nine years old. How- 
ever, he found himself to be "quite as far advanced in 
the knowledge of books as the most forward" of his 
companions. The school he first attended in Tarboro 
was taught by Rev. and Mrs. Owen. It was while attend- 
ing this school that he and Richard Lewis met one an- 
other and formed a friendship which grew and con- 
tinued for more than three-score years. 

In the fall of 1861 Cheshire entered the Tarboro Male 
Academy, whose sole teacher at that time was Mr. Frank 
S. Wilkinson, a graduate of the University of North 
Carolina. In this school Wilkinson took boys of every 
age, from beginners to those preparing for college. 
Cheshire later tells us that Wilkinson was devoted to the 
profession of teaching, laboring "faithfully to interest his 
pupils, and give them the best that he had himself." The 
school usually numbered between thirty and thirty-five 
boys, but when it included as many as forty, Wilkinson 
engaged an assistant. During Cheshire's attendance at the 
Academy, Mr. William Henry Johnston was employed 
as an assistant. He was also a graduate of the University 
and, as Cheshire says, "a very good scholar after the 
standards of the day." In this small school, which never 
boasted more than two teachers at any one time, Joseph 
Cheshire prepared himself for college. 

Since the summer climate of Tarboro did not agree 
with Dr. Cheshire's health, he purchased in 1850 a home 
in Franklin County, about four miles from Louisburg. 
This place was named Monreath and on it stood an old, 
well-built house surrounded by one hundred and sixty 
acres of land. Here the Cheshires spent their summers. 
These pleasant vacations at Monreath caused Joseph to 
lose about two months of school each year, since the fall 

6 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

term began the middle of July. Therefore, in the sum- 
mer of 1864 he asked his father if he could not attend 
the Louisburg Academy from July to September. His 
father readily agreed, and each day young Cheshire 
walked the four miles into Louisburg to conjugate Latin 
verbs and pursue the other fields of learning which made 
up the curriculum of the average classical school of that 

During the Civil War the Cheshires did not suffer 
from molestation by the enemy or from severe depriva- 
tion as did many southern families. They gave shelter 
and comfort to many refugees from the eastern part of 
the state, which was occupied by federal troops. Writing 
of his impressions of the war years, Cheshire observed: 
"It is strange that almost all my memories of those trag- 
ical days seem to be of bright and happy experiences. I 
do not remember any atmosphere of gloom or depression. 
The spirit of all was brave and bouyant." ^ The abolition 
of slavery did not greatly affect the economic status of 
his family, since his father owned only a few domestic 
servants whom he had inherited. 

Cheshire's religious education began, of course, at 
home. Every Sunday afternoon he and his brother stood 
before their mother with the Negro children and re- 
peated their assigned part of the catechism. He did not 
attend Sunday school until after he had learned all the 
catechism, that is, all but the "Desire." He later re- 
marked that he never learned it "so as not to forget it," 
and that it was the only thing he ever tried to remember 
and failed. 

By the fall of 1865 Cheshire was ready to enter col- 
lege. It had been originally planned that he should go to 
the University of North Carolina. But when the time 

Youth and Manhood 7 

arrived his father did not have the money to send him. 
Dr. Cheshire, however, had already decided not to send 
his son to the state University; he did not think the 
environment there would be suitable for a boy of fifteen, 
for a good many young soldiers, fresh from the careless 
life of the army, were entering the University that fall. 
Cheshire's best friend, Dick Lewis, and several others of 
his class-mates went in the fall of 1865 to Mr. Graves' 
school in Granville County. He was left in a class by 
himself at the Tarboro Academy, where he continued 
his studies under the direction of Mr. Wilkinson. 

During this period of study at the Academy Cheshire 
wrote an amusing and original essay on the subject of 
honesty. Launching into his subject with the statement 
that there had already been so much written upon it 
that it was about worn out, he declared that he chose the 
topic for want of a better one. This introduction was 
succeeded by the following: 

"I have been thinking for a long time what else to say 
about 'Honesty,' but can't think of a single thing which 
some other boy has not said in his composition since I 
have been going to school: and I think that I had better 
practice what I have here attempted to preach, and tell 
you, Mr. Wilkinson, that it is Monday morning, and 
that composition never entered into my head Saturday, 
and so you need not expect much. Instead of a composi- 
tion I will give you an account of my doings Saturday 
evening, which I hope you will take as an equivalent." 

Cheshire then gave an interesting description of a de- 
lightful horseback ride he had had with a young lady. 
He concluded his essay by saying: "I hope this will be 
taken as a composition. If it is not I hope you will return 

8 Bishop Joseph Blomit Cheshire 

it as there is enough clean paper on it to write another 
one." ^ The composition is not only worth quoting for 
its originality, but also because it brings out a pro- 
nounced characteristic of the later man. Complete hon- 
esty with himself as well as others, under all conditions, 
was one of his most outstanding qualities. 

Joseph continued his studies under Mr. Wilkinson 
until February, 1866. By that time Dr. Cheshire had 
secured sufficient funds with which to send his son to 
college. He was still opposed to sending him to the Uni- 
versity for the reason already mentioned and because he 
felt the fate of that institution at the time was most 
uncertain. He decided, therefore, to send Joseph to Trin- 
ity College at Hartford, Connecticut. Trinity was an 
excellent school, under the management of the church, 
and Dr. Cheshire was personally acquainted with its 

Before his son left home for college. Dr. Cheshire told 
him that he must decide while in school what he wished 
to do for his life's work. He explained that since he had 
other children to educate, he would not be able to help 
him after graduation. His father went on to say that it 
would be a great happiness to him if his son should decide 
to go into the ministry, but that was something he must 
determine for himself, Cheshire later remarked that this 
was the only time in his memory that his father ever 
spoke to him of the possibility of making the ministry 
his life's work. 

In late February of 1866 young Cheshire left home 
for Hartford. An inexperienced boy, having traveled 
little beyond his section of the state, he now set out to 
enter a strange school among people with whom, less 
than a year ago, his people had been at war. Such a 

Youth and Manhood 9 

prospect would have filled an older heart with trepida- 
tion. He traveled as far as New York with a stranger 
who had been in Tarboro on business, and from thence 
he went alone to Hartford. 

Cheshire was allowed to enter the Freshman class with 
conditions only in Greek and Latin composition, which 
was a tribute to the work done under Mr. Wilkinson 
that fall. He learned upon arriving at school that he 
was the first man from the Confederate States to enter 
Trinity since the close of the war. He was treated kindly 
by his fellow students, and never complained of any 
hostility or unfriendliness on the part of the northern 
boys. His closest friends, however, were among a group 
of students from Maryland. 

Shortly after he entered college, his father wrote to 
President Kerfoot asking him to suggest someone on the 
faculty who would be willing to act as an advisor and 
friend to his son. Dr. Kerfoot proposed Rev. William 
W. Niles, Professor of Latin at Trinity, who gladly took 
Cheshire under his care. In time the two became fast 
friends. Professor Niles and his wife often entertained 
him and always made him feel at home in their house. 
Under Professor Niles' direction Cheshire was prepared 
for confirmation, and in May, 1866, he was confirmed 
in the college chapel. In later years he said of the Nileses: 
"I can never be sufficiently grateful to Professor Niles 
and his good wife. ... I enjoyed from that time— from 
my Freshman days in college to the end of their Hves, 
the friendship and confidence of these most admirable 
people." ^ 

Dr. Cheshire had a good deal of difficulty in main- 
taining his son at college. The years im.mediately follow- 
ing the war were hard ones for almost all southerners, 

I o Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

and the Cheshire family was no exception. When Chesh- 
ire came home for the Christmas hohdays of 1867, his 
father told him that he would be unable to send him 
back to college. He accepted this decision as final, and 
wrote his roommate, Robert F. Bixby, that he was not 
returning to college after the holidays. Not long after- 
wards. Dr. Cheshire received a letter from Professor 
Pynchon, a member of the Trinity faculty, who in- 
formed him that a friend, who wished to withhold his 
name, would be happy to advance the necessary money 
for his son's monthly board if that would be sufficient to 
make his return to college possible. After talking the 
matter over with his son. Dr. Cheshire accepted the 
generous offer, since he believed he would be able to 
repay the full amount by the end of 1868. In this way 
young Cheshire was able to resume his work at Trinity, 
receiving each month through Dr. Pynchon the money 
for his board. As he had anticipated. Dr. Cheshire was 
able to repay the whole debt at the end of 1868. Al- 
though he never knew, Cheshire suspected that the 
money, so badly needed at the time, came from the 
father of his friend, Robert Bixby. 

During his first two years at Trinity, Cheshire had 
come to know Rev. John Williams, Bishop of Connecti- 
cut and one-time Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal 
Church, who often visited the college. When school 
closed in June, 1868, Cheshire found that he was not 
financially able to go home for the summer vacation, and 
that he would have to remain in Hartford. Bishop Wil- 
liams heard of his plans and thereupon invited him to 
his old home in Deerfield, Massachusetts, for a month. 
The Bishop said that he could serve as his secretary, and 
on this condition Cheshire gladly accepted the invitation. 

Youth and Manhood 

1 1 

As it turned out, he had very Httle to do. He spent the 
month most delightfully, meeting many interesting peo- 
ple and visiting near-by historical places. After leaving 
Bishop Williams, he spent a pleasant month in Maryland 
visiting two of his college friends. Thus most of the sum- 
mer passed rapidly, and he returned to Hartford greatly 
refreshed, ready to begin the last year of his collegiate 

While at Trinity Cheshire became a member of the 
Phi Kappa fraternity, now the Alpha Delta Phi. He was 
the only member of his class who belonged to this fra- 
ternity. Consequently, Cheshire modestly explains, when- 
ever an honor fell to a Phi Kappa of his class he was the 
only one to receive it. Whether this was the reason or 
not, he was made president of the Senior class, and was 
elected a marshal for the commencement of 1868. As 
for class and college prizes, he never entered a contest 
until his last year. At this time he entered the competi- 
tion for the "Tuttle Prize," which was an award of 
thirty dollars for the best essay by a senior on a subject 
to be chosen by the faculty. The topic selected for 
Cheshire's class was "The Causes of the French Revolu- 
tion." Cheshire submitted a paper of forty-eight fools- 
cap pages. Much to his gratification, and somewhat to his 
surprise, his essay won the prize. With the money he 
purchased "Pratt's Complete Works of Bishop Hall" in 
ten volumes as a gift for his father. For himself he 
bought a set of Chaucer's works in eight volumes and 
a few other books. Indeed, he seems to have made his 
prize money go far and to much advantage. 

In June, 1869, Cheshire's college days came to a close. 
During his three and one-half years at Trinity he made 
many close friendships which continued throughout his 

1 2 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

life. He was not an outstanding student, but did cred- 
itably in all his courses. At the commencement exercises 
he delivered an original address, which was required of all 
graduates. He chose as the subject of his senior oration 
"The Strength of Republican Governments," a topic 
characteristic of that period. Cheshire had been influenced 
in the choice of this subject by De Tocqueville's Dernoc- 
racy in America^ in which he had become interested. 
Following his graduation he returned to North Carolina, 
where he spent the summer of 1869 with his family at 
Monreath. This was his last long vacation. He was soon 
to take over his first position and to begin earning for 
the remainder of his life his own way. 

In the course of graduation week at Trinity, Cheshire 
had the good fortune of making the acquaintance of Rev. 
John Avery Shepherd of Maryland. Dr. Shepherd had 
organized a few years before a private school, which he 
called St. Clement's Hall, at Ellicott City near Balti- 
more. Being favorably impressed with Cheshire's per- 
sonality and his record at Trinity, Dr. Shepherd offered 
him a position in his school teaching Latin and Greek 
for the scholastic year 1869-70. His salary was to be six 
hundred dollars a year in addition to board and lodging. 
Cheshire gladly accepted the position, since he wished 
no longer to be a burden on his father. His younger 
brother was then ready to enter college and was only 
waiting for him to finish. 

In the middle of September Cheshire left Monreath to 
take up his duties at St. Clement's Hall. Before he left 
home his father gave him fifty dollars to aid him until 
he should receive a part of his salary. This was the last 
time he ever gave him any money, that is, from a feeling 
of responsibility for his son's support. 

Youth and Manhood 1 3 

At St. Clement's Cheshire was given all the upper 
classes in Latin and Greek, and in addition taught some 
arithmetic and algebra. In consequence of his rather poor 
beginning in Latin and Greek at the Tarboro Academy, 
he never became a scholar in these fields. While teaching 
Latin he became more interested in this subject and 
read rather widely in Tacitus and other Latin authors. 
In the course of his busy life of teaching he found time 
to continue "a kind of study" of Blackstone which he 
had begun in his senior year at Trinity. He also read 
through Kent's Coiiwientaries and a good deal of English 

Cheshire came to know a number of people in the 
neighborhood of the school who helped to make his life 
at St. Clement's more interesting and pleasant. He spent 
a good many week-ends in Baltimore with some of his 
Trinity friends. When his oldest and best friend, Richard 
Lewis, came to Baltimore to study medicine in the fall 
of 1870, his visits became more frequent. On the whole, 
his life at St. Clement's was happy, and the experience he 
gained, worth while. He never, however, became fond 
of teaching, but he enjoyed his students and took a warm 
personal interest in them. After two years at St. Clem- 
ent's he decided to abandon teaching for the law pro- 
fession, which he thought would be more congenial to 
his tastes. 

When Cheshire returned to North Carolina in June, 
1 87 1, he went with his family to Hillsboro to spend the 
summer. Here he began the study of law under the emi- 
nent lawyer, William K. Ruffin, son of Chief Justice 
Thomas Ruffin, who coached law students since he was 
too crippled to do much active practice. Ruffin was a 
"devotee" of the common law and always gave his stu- 

14 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

dents a thorough drilling in it. He made Cheshire devote 
almost all the summer to the study of Second Blackstone 
and Cruise's Real Property. When he left Hillsboro in 
September, Ruffin made him promise that he would se- 
cure an old folio edition of Coke's CoTTtmentaries on Lit- 
tleton and read it carefully. Some time later Cheshire 
bought a copy of this work in Baltimore and read it from 
cover to cover as he had promised. He once remarked 
that he believed he was the last man in North Carolina 
to have completely read the old folio edition. Cheshire 
found Mr. William Ruffin "a most interesting man as 
well as a stimulating and helpful teacher." ^ 

Upon returning to Tarboro Cheshire continued his 
study of law, now in the office of Howard and Perry. 
In this office he "read law," for he says that Judge 
George Howard would not agree to give him any in- 
struction. Cheshire, however, maintained that he learned 
much law from Judge Howard, and "a good deal of 
sound practical wisdom." 

After his summer's work under William Ruffin and 
some three months' study in Judge Howard's office, 
Cheshire was ready to try for his license. On January i, 
1872, he went to Raleigh to be examined by the Supreme 
Court Justices. It was an oral test and, in Cheshire's own 
words, was "a very slight and superficial examination" 
in comparison with those given today. The day after 
the examination he was informed that he had passed and 
was granted his license. 

Shortly afterwards George G. Hooper, a Trinity Col- 
lege friend, wrote Cheshire to come to Baltimore and 
join him in a law partnership. He did not particularly 
care to leave North Carolina, but he feared if he re- 

Youth and Manhood 1 5 

mained he might be a burden on his father while estab- 
lishing himself. He accordingly accepted Hooper's offer, 
and the two men formed a partnership under the firm 
name of Hooper and Cheshire. Hooper agreed to pay 
him a salary for the first year, at the end of which time 
they would make a new agreement. 

Cheshire had not been in the office long before he 
learned that Hooper had "little real law practice." His 
work was almost entirely confined to drawing up con- 
veyances and examining land titles. After some fifteen 
months of this sort of work, Cheshire realized there was 
little future for him in such a partnership. It was, there- 
fore, with much pleasure that he received, in May, 1873, 
a letter from his friend, John L. Bridgers, Jr., asking him 
to return to Tarboro and join him and his father. Colonel 
John L. Bridgers, in the practice of law. Cheshire readily 
accepted this proposal, and the following month came 
back to North Carolina where he was to make his home 
for the remainder of his life. 

Cheshire was happy to be hving in Tarboro once 
again with his family and among his old friends. Thus 
was formed the firm of Bridgers, Cheshire, and Bridgers. 
This connection continued until January, 1875, at which 
time Cheshire was offered the position of secretary and 
treasurer of the PamUco Banking and Insurance Com- 
pany, a corporation organized to solicit fire insurance. 
He accepted the offer because it gave him an office and 
a small salary and did not interfere with his law practice. 
The company's business was not extensive, and required 
only a few hours of his time each day. While holding 
this position he was also treasurer of the Tarboro Build- 

1 6 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

ing and Loan Association. Again this ofEce demanded 
little of his time, merely requiring that he receive the 
money from the secretary weekly and pay it out upon his 

Cheshire continued the practice of law until the early 
part of 1878. In summing up his work at the bar, he 
observed: "I made a living and saved a few hundred 
dollars. I had no very interesting or important cases, so 
far as I recall." ^ During his last year of practice, how- 
ever, he made a little over fifteen hundred dollars, which, 
for a young lawyer of that period, was doing quite well. 

Since leaving St. Clement's Hall in June, 1871, Chesh- 
ire had not by any means devoted all of his time and 
thought to the study and practice of law. He accom- 
plished a great deal more in the summer of 1871 than the 
study of common law under Mr. William K. Ruffin. It 
was then that he renewed his acquaintance with his 
cousin. Miss Annie Huske Webb, who lived in Hillsboro. 
He had seen this cousin but little since her visit to Tar- 
boro in December, 1865. He always remembered the 
first time he saw her upon her arrival in Tarboro for 
that visit and described the meeting thus: "When I looked 
at her, as she came in out of the rain, and lifted the veil 
from her face, I thought her the most beautiful person I 
had ever seen. I think that first impression was never 
effaced." « 

In the course of the summer spent in Hillsboro Chesh- 
ire saw a good deal of his cousin. It was not long before 
he realized that he was in love with her. While not pos- 
sessing a particularly romantic nature, Cheshire was a 
man of deep emotions and fine sentiments. During his 
courtship of Miss Webb he composed for her this little 

Youth and Manhood 1 7 

A. H. W. 

My Love is a fair white Lily, 

And she loves not the day's full glare, 
But she seeks out a quiet valley, 

And she lifts up her sweet face there. 
The blue heavens through the branches 

Look down with their kindly light; 
And she smiles back a gentle greeting 

When the stars look through at night. 
The song-birds sing to her sweetly, 

And she's rocked by the gentle breeze; 
And she hides from the storms of Winter 

'Midst the roots of the giant trees. 
She peeps in the crystal streamlet, 

As she nods in the breezes light: 
And she knows not her own fair beauty, 

But is glad that she's pure and white.'^ 

By May, 1872, Cheshire and Annie Huske Webb were 
engaged; but it was not until 1874 that he felt he was 
financially able to marry. On December 17 of that year 
they were married in St. Matthew's Church, Hillsboro. 
They had a simple wedding with Richard Lewis as his 
best man. The following day Cheshire and his wife went 
to Tarboro, where for the next four years they made 
their home with his family. 

With this, the greatest event in his life up to that time, 
we close the first phase of Cheshire's career. During the 
period he had grown to manhood, received his scholastic 
and collegiate education, taught for two years, studied 
law and practiced it for six years, and had some little 
part in the business world. All of this training and varied 
experience gave him a rich background for the great 
work which lay ahead of him. 


Deacon and Priest 

Ever since he left college Cheshire had been conscious 
of a growing desire to become a candidate for Holy- 
Orders. Not long after his marriage he spoke to his 
wife of this aspiration, and told her he had now decided 
to present himself to the Bishop. He had not come to 
this decision earlier because he was determined not to go 
into the ministry until he had made a success of what he 
was doing at that time. He would not enter the ministry 
as a failure from another field of work. By the middle of 
1876 he decided that he was making a respectable living 
for his wife and himself. He thereupon told his father 
of his decision and sent Bishop Atkinson his application. 
Shortly afterwards the Bishop accepted him as a candi- 
date for Holy Orders, and Cheshire began preparing 
himself for his new work. 

It was Cheshire's original plan to attend the General 
Theological Seminary in New York for a year or two, 
but Bishop Atkinson and his father dissuaded him from 
this course because they objected to the Dean of the 
Seminary and because they felt that its ritualistic influ- 
ences were too strong. Bishop Atkinson thought that, 


Deacon and Priest 1 9 

since Cheshire had had a good classical education, had 
pursued intellectual interests, and had been reared in a 
clergyman's family, he could quite adequately do his 
preparatory work at home. Cheshire accepted the Bish- 
op's advice, and at once began a well laid-out course 
of reading. He had already read a good many ecclesiasti- 
cal works, since he had been contemplating this step for 
some time. 

At the end of 1877 he gave up his connection with 
the Pamlico Insurance and Banking Company, and soon 
afterwards concluded his legal affairs. In September, 
1877, he went to Raleigh to stand his examinations for 
the diaconate before Rev. Dr. Matthias M. Marshall and 
Rev. John E. C. Smedes. Having passed his examinations 
acceptably, Cheshire was ordained deacon by Bishop 
Atkinson on April 21, 1878, in Calvary Church, Tar- 
boro. His father presented him for ordination. The fol- 
lowing Sunday he assisted his father in the morning 
service and preached his first sermon. Thus he was 
launched upon a new career in which he was to rise to 
heights far beyond his modest dreams. 

When Dr. Kemp Plummer Battle, President of the 
University of North Carolina, heard that Cheshire was 
studying for the ministry, he asked Bishop Atkinson to 
send him to Chapel Hill. Dr. Battle was a native of Edge- 
combe County and had known Cheshire and his family 
for many years. Since the revival of the University in 
1875, ^^y- Robert B. Sutton, of Pittsboro, had from 
time to time held services in the Chapel of the Cross. 
The Chapel Hill churchmen, however, felt that the par- 
ish needed a regular and resident minister. The Bishop 
complied with Dr. Battle's request and informed Cheshire 
that he was to serve his diaconate in Chapel Hill under 

2 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

the direction of Dr. Sutton. This was a disappointment 
to Cheshire, for he had hoped he would be able to re- 
main in Edgecombe County and strengthen the church's 
position there. The Bishop also directed him to hold a 
regular appointment in the rapidly growing town of 
Durham, where as yet there was not even an established 
mission. This was a difficult assignment for a young 
deacon just beginning his ministry. In Chapel Hill he had 
to revive an old parish which had fallen somewhat into 
decay during the hard years of the reconstruction period, 
while in Durham he had to build from the ground up, 
commencing with only a handful of church people. 

Cheshire came to Chapel Hill in May, and on the 
nineteenth of that month held his first service in the 
Chapel of the Cross. President Battle invited him to make 
his home at his house until he could find a suitable place. 
Cheshire accepted this generous offer and spent several 
weeks with the Battles. In consequence of a long illness, 
contracted soon after his arrival, he did not hold another 
service in Chapel Hill until the last Sunday in June. The 
next Sunday he was able to keep his first appointment in 
Durham, but following this service, he had a serious 
relapse and was unable to continue his work until early 

For a few weeks that fall Cheshire boarded at the 
hotel, while his wife visited her family in Hillsboro. This 
gave him an excellent opportunity to come into close 
contact with the students, many of whom took their 
meals at the hotel. In this way he came to know a num- 
ber of students who were not members of his church. 
Throughout his rectorship in Chapel Hill he made it a 
point to know all the students who were in any way 
connected with the Episcopal Church. In a compara- 

Deacon and Priest 2 1 

tively short time he was on friendly terms with most 
of the small student body. 

Cheshire frankly confessed that in the first exercise 
of his ministerial duties among the students he felt "great 
embarrassment" and even some "timidity." He explained: 
"I had not been accustomed to speak much of my own re- 
ligious feelings; and I was at a loss how to make a proper 
approach to the subject of another person's religious 
duties and convictions." ^ He visited the boys in their 
rooms when he thought they liked it, but never sought 
to force himself upon them. Cheshire later declared he 
did not remember ever approaching a student on the 
subject of religion without receiving a serious and cour- 
teous hearing. Many students seemed to appreciate the 
interest he took in their religious hfe. Cheshire himself 
was only a few years older than many of the under- 
graduates and, therefore, could understand their point of 
view and enter sympathetically into their problems. The 
effectiveness of his first year's work in Chapel Hill was 
demonstrated when Bishop Lyman made his visitation 
to the Chapel of the Cross in May, 1879. Cheshire pre- 
sented to the Bishop for confirmation nine students and 
two girls of the village. In later years he remarked that 
this was "one of the most interesting and satisfactory 
classes I ever presented." 

When he first began preaching, Cheshire took great 
pains in the preparation of his sermons, writing them 
out in full. He freely admitted he had "no special gifts 
or talents as a speaker." In discussing the problem of 
preaching with Cheshire just after his ordination. Bishop 
Atkinson said he would give him the same advice which 
Bishop Johns, of Virginia, used to give his young deacons: 
"Choose a pretty long text, so that if they persecute you 

2 2 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

in one city, you may flee to another." Cheshire began, 
in time, to memorize his sermons and then to attempt to 
preach extemporaneously, but he always felt that his 
written sermons were better. Concerning the reception 
of his sermons in Chapel Hill, he stated: "My Chapel 
Hill congregation seemed to me most considerate and 
appreciative of my attempts at preaching, even the stu- 
dents of the University, so far as I could judge." ^ 

In his congregation Cheshire had some of the most 
distinguished members of the University faculty. Presi- 
dent Battle was his senior warden and sincere friend, who 
gave him "judicious praise" as well as sound advice as to 
the pitfalls which a young clergyman might expect to 
encounter. Dr. J. de Bemiere Hooper, Professor of 
Greek, was in Cheshire's opinion, "the most scholarly 
and highly cultivated" member of his parish. Professors 
Ralph Graves and George T. Winston, both young men 
who were later to win fame, were also members of his 
congregation. He lived on friendly relations with these 
and other members of the small faculty. 

When Mrs. Cheshire came to Chapel Hill, she and her 
husband moved to the home of Dr. William P. Mallett, 
where they lived until the early part of 1879. They then 
took over the parish rectory, a small four-room house 
with a kitchen in the back yard. It faced Rosemary Lane 
and was situated on a two-acre lot, on part of which 
stands the present rectory. Their families and parish- 
ioners furnished the house for them quite comfortably. 
There was a small debt on the rectory, and, prior to 
Cheshire's coming to the parish, it had been rented to 
assist in retiring the obhgation. When he moved into the 
rectory, he agreed to pay the interest on the debt, not- 
withstanding that his salary was only five hundred dollars 

Deacon and Priest 2 3 

a year. It was not easy, even in those days, to live on such 
a small income, but Cheshire often remarked that his 
years in Chapel Hill were "as happy, I believe, as pos- 
sible in this world." He was fortunate in realizing his 
happiness at the time and often spoke of it to his wife. 
To make their happiness complete, a second child,* 
Elizabeth Toole, was born to them in the summer of 


Although the parish in Chapel Hill was his chief 

charge, Cheshire did not think that it had an exclusive 
claim upon him. He regarded it as a center from which 
to work. In the fall of 1878 he began to lay definite 
plans for what was to be an important missionary work 
in Durham. After surveying the prospects there Cheshire, 
with the co-operation of his little flock, was able to rent 
a hall on Main Street which was ordinarily used for 
public entertainments. Here he held services on the first 
Sunday in every month. The work in Durham prospered 
remarkably, considering that the congregation had no 
church building of their own. Cheshire and his congre- 
gation soon realized, however, that if much progress was 
to be made, they must have a church. The greatest 
difficulty at first was to find a lot within their means. 
Finally, one was purchased at a low price because of its 
undesirability from a business standpoint. In the spring 
of 1880 the foundations of the little church were laid. 
Since his congregation could bear only a small part 
of the cost of building a church, Cheshire had to ask for 
assistance elsewhere. His family and friends in Edge- 
combe County contributed about one-fourth of the total 
cost. In a communication to the Church Messenger 

* The first child was born in March, 1878, but died only a few days 
after birth. 

24 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

Cheshire requested the rectors of the larger parishes of 
the Diocese to contribute one Sunday's offering to the 
completion of the Durham church. On the general sub- 
ject of soliciting aid for religious purposes, he declared: 
"Indiscriminate begging from anybody and everybody 
to the neglect of every consideration, except the chance 
of getting a dollar, is not becoming to the cause of reli- 
gion, and is a positive discouragement to Christian liber- 
ality." This was the kind of soliciting which he never 
practiced. Throughout his ministry he requested aid for 
the church of only those who he felt were rightfully 
responsible for its support. 

By the spring of 1881 the church was completed at a 
cost of about twenty-five hundred dollars. In a remark- 
ably short time, less than a year and a half, the money 
had been raised and the building erected. Cheshire named 
it "St. Philip, the Deacon," feeling it to be the "fruit" 
of his work as a deacon. It was with much pride and 
happiness that, on July 24, 1881, he assisted Bishop Ly- 
man in the consecration of St. Philip's— a fitting close 
to his work in that mission.^ 

Cheshire never expected, nor did he ever receive, any 
compensation from the Diocese for his missionary activi- 
ties. Concerning extra parochial work, he said: "I did 
not look upon work outside the parish as extra work, for 
which I should receive extra remuneration or special 
commendation." * Shortly after Cheshire began his work 
in Durham, the Treasurer of the Diocese sent him a 
check for twenty dollars, which he promptly returned, 
saying that he "did not desire to receive anything from 
the Diocesan Treasury." ^ During his three years of 
service in Durham the Httle mission paid him small 
amounts from time to time, which approximately covered 

Deacon and Priest 25 

the expenses he incurred. He looked upon his labors for 
this mission as "a pure work of love and missionary enter- 
prise." In recalling this experience, he declared: "I be- 
lieve I vi^orked harder and with more enthusiasm in my 
Mission of St. PhiHp's, Durham, and afterwards in estab- 
lishing St. Mark's Church, Mecklenburg County, than 
in any other work I ever undertook. . . ." ^ 

While carrying forward his constructive work in 
Chapel Hill and in Durham, Cheshire did not overlook 
his preparation for the priesthood, although, as he re- 
marked, he did not "feel that impatience to get out of 
the Diaconate," which he often observed in young 
clergymen. During his leisure hours he read widely and 
thoroughly, and was well prepared when the time came 
for his advancement. At the close of the diocesan con- 
vention, held in Winston-Salem, he was ordained priest 
by Bishop Lyman in St. Paul's Church on May 30, 1880. 
He was presented for ordination by Rev. John E. C. 
Smedes, and the sermon for the occasion was preached 
by Dr. Alfred Watson, later Bishop of East Carolina. 
Commenting upon the ordination service, the Church 
Messenger said of Cheshire: "thoroughly active, he will 
do a work that will tell in the diocese." 

During his ministry in Chapel Hill Cheshire received 
calls from several parishes, all of which offered him a 
better salary than he was then receiving, but he usually 
declined them by return mail. In the winter of 1881 
the vestry of St. Matthew's, Hillsboro, and the church 
in Burlington asked him to take charge of their parishes. 
This prospect appealed to him strongly, since he would 
live in Hillsboro, his wife's old home, where they had 
many kinsfolk and friends. Before taking any action, how- 
ever, he consulted Bishop Lyman, who replied that he 

26 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

preferred Cheshire to remain in Chapel Hill where he 
was doing a good work. He accepted the Bishop's de- 
cision and declined the call to Hillsboro. 

About two months later Cheshire received a call from 
St. Peter's, Charlotte, which he declined immediately. 
Hearing of this action, Bishop Lyman wrote him that he 
wished him to accept the charge of St. Peter's. Cheshire 
replied that he had refused to go to Charlotte because 
the Bishop had instructed him, only a few months earlier, 
to remain in Chapel Hill. Bishop Lyman, hov/ever, an- 
swered that he had directed the vestry of St. Peter's to 
call him again "and he ivould see to it^^ that Cheshire 
accepted. The call was accordingly renewed, and Chesh- 
ire went to Charlotte to interview the vestry. He told 
them that he accepted the charge because he felt it his 
"duty to respect the wishes of the Bishop." Cheshire 
often remarked that during his ministry he never ac- 
cepted a call to any parish, explaining that the Bishop 
had directed him to go to Chapel Hill and later to the 
parish in Charlotte. This was not said in a spirit of criti- 
cism of his Bishop but merely as a statement of fact, for 
he also declared that he "preferred" to have his work 
given him. Throughout his long life of service he always 
had the feeling of doing a work assigned to him. 

Cheshire quite naturally regretted leaving Chapel Hill, 
for he had been happy in his work there. He was also 
reluctant to part with his mission in Durham, which was 
created in a very real sense by his own labors. Recalling 
the first three years of his ministry, he declared: "I look 
upon my life at Chapel Hill as my pupilage, the com- 
pletion of my training for my life work." ' 


Saint Peter^s Parish 

Cheshire entered upon his work in Charlotte with a feel- 
ing that here he had an excellent opportunity for ex- 
tending the influence of his church, particularly in the 
missionary field. He did not feel any fear or trepidation 
at the thought of this larger and more difficult work, 
although he had no great confidence in his own ability. 
He went to his new parish with the determination to 
give to it his best, and throughout his rectorate there he 
never lost sight of that ideal. When some of his friends 
heard that he was going to St. Peter's, they told him he 
was taking over one of the hardest and most undesirable 
parishes in the Diocese. This was indeed a discouraging 
description of his new work, but after serving twelve 
years at St. Peter's, Cheshire remarked that he had found 
nothing which would justify such a characterization of 
that parish. 

Cheshire did not bring his wife and children to Char- 
lotte at once but left them in Chapel Hill for the summer. 
During this time he lived with Mr. John Wilkes, the 
senior warden of the parish, and took his meals at a board- 
ing house. Finding no parish rectory in Charlotte, he 


2 8 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

bought a house on North Church Street. This purchase 
took all he had saved from his law practice, plus an addi- 
tional thousand dollars which he had to borrow. His 
salary from St. Peter's being twelve hundred dollars a 
year, he was able to carry a debt of this amount. With 
a salary this size he felt that he had been "raised to a 
condition of affluence." In an exuberance of generosity 
he offered to become responsible for the support of an 
orphan in one of the foreign mission orphanages. For 
some reason his proposal was not accepted. It was not 
long, however, before he found that his salary was little 
if any above his actual needs. 

When Cheshire became rector of St. Peter's there 
were one hundred and thirty-seven communicants in 
the parish. Mr. John Wilkes and Colonel Hamilton C. 
Jones were his senior and junior wardens, respectively. 
These men were quite different in temperament, but 
both were sincerely devoted to the welfare of the church. 
The young rector found in them staunch friends and 
helpful advisors. One of the first tasks Cheshire set for 
himself was to visit and become acquainted with each 
member of his congregation. After making a careful 
study of the parish register, he purchased a small memo- 
randum book in which he wrote down the full name, 
age, and church status of each person connected with 
St. Peter's. By the end of his first summer in Charlotte 
he had become fairly well acquainted with most of his 

One of Cheshire's predecessors at St. Peter's was the 
Rev. Benjamin S. Bronson, rector of the parish from 
1867 to 1878. He had been greatly interested in institu- 
tional work, and had begun several enterprises in the 

Saint Peter^s Parish 2 9 

course of his ministry in Charlotte. None of these, how- 
ever, was carried to a successful conclusion under his 
direction. Mr. Bronson's capacity seemed to be limited to 
merely initiating worth-while projects. His efforts were 
not futile, for he instilled in his congregation a deep 
interest in this type of work. Cheshire often said that 
what he was able to accomplish in Charlotte was due in 
part to the enthusiasm for institutional work which Mr. 
Bronson had aroused in his parishioners. He confessed 
that he did not have the type of mind which readily 
produced original ideas: "I think I can only methodize 
and put into practice ideas I get from others." ^ Al- 
though he exaggerated his lack of originality, he was 
strikingly successful in taking a good idea or suggestion 
and making it work. 

When Cheshire came to Charlotte he found one of 
Mr. Bronson's charities still in existence, although in a 
sadly neglected condition. This was a four-room house 
which was known as St. Peter's Home and Hospital. 
The good work which was being done in a very small 
way by this institution strongly appealed to Cheshire. 
He regularly visited the sick there, and soon began to 
lay plans for enlarging its usefulness. For this purpose 
he enlisted the aid of a retired clergyman, Rev. Lucian 
Holmes, who was then conducting in Charlotte a small 
school for boys. Mr. Holmes visited the people of the 
city, soliciting contributions ranging from ten cents to 
one dollar a month. His efforts were successful, and in 
a comparatively short time the little hospital was assured 
of a modest monthly income. It was planned that the 
women on the Board of Managers of the hospital should 
collect the pledges. Thus, under Cheshire's direction, St. 

30 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

Peter's hospital was firmly established and has continued 
to grow in usefulness to the community from that time 
to the present day. 

Shortly after becoming rector of St. Peter's, Cheshire 
began to take an active interest in the church's work 
among the Negroes. He found among a large Negro 
population only one communicant. Prior to the Civil 
War Negroes had worshiped with the whites, sitting in 
galleries erected for their use. Following the war and 
reconstruction, however, the church had of necessity 
been forced to curtail its work among the Negroes. He 
recognized in this condition an opportunity for a great 
work. Since his parish was large and demanded the 
greater part of his time, he asked Bishop Lyman to send 
him an unmarried clergyman who could devote all his 
efforts to the Negro work. The Bishop complied with 
his request, and in the spring of 1882 sent Rev. Charles 
C. Quin to Charlotte. Quin received a stipend of two 
hundred dollars a year from the Diocese, which Cheshire 
supplemented with fifty dollars out of his own pocket. 
In addition, Quin lived with the Cheshires, who gave 
him his room and board. 

After securing an assistant for the Negro work, Chesh- 
ire's next step was to find a place in which to worship. 
He found an old house in the Negro section of Charlotte, 
which he bought and remodeled sufficiently to make it 
serve as a mission. He named the little chapel St. Michael 
and All Angels. Although Quin was placed in charge of 
this mission, Cheshire held an evening service there every 
second Sunday. In this way he was able to keep in per- 
sonal contact with the congregation. 

The work progressed so well that it was not long be- 
fore the need for a larger church was apparent. Seeing this 

Saint Peter^s Parish 3 1 

need, Cheshire soHcited contributions for a new church 
from his parishioners and from various churchmen 
throughout the Diocese. He sent Quin to Pennsylvania, 
New York, and Connecticut with letters to his friends 
in those states, asking for assistance. Cheshire and Quin 
were fairly successful in their efforts to raise funds for 
the new church, and in the spring of 1883 the corner- 
stone was laid. In the course of the year the nave and 
chancel were completed, while the transepts were left 
to be finished at some future time. It was a well-built 
brick church and large enough to allow for considerable 
growth in the congregation. It stands today as a testi- 
monial to Cheshire's zeal in advancing the work of the 
church. Shortly after it was built, Quin resigned and was 
succeeded by Rev. Primus P. Alston, a colored clergy- 
man, who remained in charge of the parish for over 
twenty years. St. Michael and All Angels was now prac- 
tically independent of St. Peter's, although it was still 
under Cheshire's general direction. 

While in the process of establishing St. Michael's, 
Cheshire was at the same time engaged in another mis- 
sionary enterprise. He found in a section of Charlotte, 
known as Mechanicsville, a number of families who were 
members of the Episcopal Church but were not con- 
nected with St. Peter's parish. Seeing an opportunity to 
extend the work of the parish, he determined to bring 
the services of the church to these people. He began by 
establishing a Sunday school in an abandoned school- 
house in this section. The Sunday school gradually ex- 
panded into a little mission, which he called St. Martin's. 
Not long after the mission was started, the building in 
which the services were held was destroyed by fire. Not 
permitting this misfortune to discourage him, he began 

3 2 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

almost at once to lay plans for the erection of a chapel 
on the same location. 

After negotiating with the Charlotte school board, he 
was able to buy the property for fifteen hundred dollars, 
to be paid in three installments. Cheshire himself paid 
the first installment of five hundred dollars, while two 
of his parishioners guaranteed the remainder. He pro- 
cured his part of the cost by selling a lot in Tarboro 
which his father had given him. When the land was 
bought, he began the work of raising money for the 
erection of a chapel. His loyal friend, Mr. John Wilkes, 
came forward as usual and supported him generously 
with both time and money. Other friends came to his 
assistance, and work was soon started on the building. 
Cheshire organized the Guild of St. Martin to help him 
in carrying forward the work on the chapel. Some time 
before it was completed, he began to hold a service in the 
little church every Sunday night. This service was in 
addition to three others which he held each Sunday at 
St. Peter's. Thus, Cheshire had literally built from the 
ground up the mission of St. Martin's. It maintained a 
steady growth and in time became one of the larger 
parishes of the Diocese. 

There seems to have been almost no limit to Cheshire's 
missionary fervor. He was not content to confine his 
labors to the bounds of Charlotte. Shortly after coming 
to St. Peter's he visited Monroe, and there he found a 
number of churchmen who at one time had been served 
by the rector at Wadesboro. At the request of these 
churchmen Cheshire gave them a monthly service, being 
assisted for a time by Mr. Quin. In 1885 the work at 
Monroe was turned over to Rev. Edwin A. Osborne. 
During his rectorate at St. Peter's Cheshire also held 

5^/72^ Peter^s Parish 3 3 

services from time to time at Rockingham, Mooresville, 
Mount Moume, and Davidson College. He did not, how- 
ever, succeed in establishing a permanent mission at any 
one of these places. If he had had more time to devote 
to this distant missionary work, he might have met with 
better success. 

In the fall of 1883 there came to Cheshire an oppor- 
tunity to do what he later characterized as "the most 
entirely gratifying and successful work of all my mis- 
sionary undertakings." ^ Columbus W. McCoy, of Long 
Creek Township, Mecklenburg County, invited Cheshire 
to hold a service in his community, stating that a num- 
ber of people in his neighborhood had manifested an 
interest in the Episcopal Church. McCoy had formerly 
been a Presbyterian, but having become acquainted with 
the Book of Common Prayer, he expressed a desire to 
join the Episcopal Church. Cheshire accepted the invi- 
tation, and on November 18 held his first service there 
in the community schoolhouse. He passed the night with 
Mr. McCoy and spent the next day in visiting the people 
of the neighborhood. He felt that "very little can be 
accomplished in a new field by merely having a service, 
even a Sunday service, unless time is given to personal 
familiar visiting from house to house, to know the peo- 
ple, and to establish some influence among them." ^ He 
held a second service that night, and returned to Char- 
lotte the following morning. This same procedure was 
followed in his subsequent visits. 

In December Cheshire went again to Long Creek, but 
in consequence of bad weather, he did not return again 
until the spring. Beginning in May, 1884, he held 
monthly services in the Long Creek community. Ob- 
serving the growing interest of the community in the 

34 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

church, he decided to hold a series of services for them 
from August 12 through the i6th. He secured the as- 
sistance of Rev. Dr. George B. Wetmore and Rev. Mr. 
Osborne. The services were held in Beach CHff School- 
house and were so well attended that part of the congre- 
gation was forced to sit out-of-doors. Cheshire and 
his assistants took turns in preaching in the morning 
and evening. In the afternoons they visited those fam- 
ilies who had shown an interest in becoming mem- 
bers of the church. In the course of the week they 
baptized sixteen persons, for the most part children, and 
at the end of the services fourteen adults signified their 
desire to be confirmed. At the close of the week's preach- 
ing Cheshire was presented with a petition signed by 
eleven persons who asked that they be organized as 
a mission under the name of St. Mark's Chapel. This 
was indeed a successful conclusion to the week's work. 

On October 25 Bishop Lyman visited Long Creek 
and confirmed sixteen persons. Following the confirma- 
tion he organized the congregation as a mission to be 
known as St. Mark's. Cheshire continued his monthly 
visits to the new mission until January, 1885, at which 
time he turned this work over to Rev. Edwin A. Os- 
borne, who had already taken charge of Cheshire's con- 
gregation in Monroe. Upon assuming this work Mr. 
Osborne moved from Henderson County to Charlotte. 
During the remainder of Cheshire's rectorate at St. 
Peter's, he and Mr. Osborne became intimate friends and 
co-operated generously in each other's work. 

Although Cheshire devoted most of his time and en- 
ergy to St. Peter's parish and its missions, he did not 
neglect his duty to the Diocese. He attended all of the 
diocesan conventions and took an active and significant 

Saint Peter^s Parish 3 5 

part in their deliberations. Probably the most important 
action taken by any convention during his ministry was 
that relating to the division of the Diocese. The question 
of dividing the church in North Carolina into two dio- 
ceses had been discussed from time to time by the con- 
ventions since the election in 1873 of Bishop Lyman as 
assistant bishop. Bishop Atkinson had favored a division 
at one time, but when the question was placed squarely 
before the convention of 1877, he came out strongly 
against it. The large number of clergy and laity who 
favored division dropped the proposal for the time-being 
out of deference to Bishop Atkinson, who, they felt, 
did not have much longer to serve. Upon his death in 
January, 188 1, the question was again brought forward. 
At the convention of 1882, held in Calvary Church, Tar- 
boro. Dr. M. M. Marshall, rector of Christ Church, 
Raleigh, introduced resolutions declaring the sentiment 
of the people on division and calling for a committee to 
consider proposals for the erection of a new diocese. The 
convention approved Dr. Marshall's resolutions, and the 
Bishop appointed a special committee to report upon the 

After some study of the proposal this committee sub- 
mitted a majority report calling for a division of the 
Diocese. Bishop Lyman, who during Bishop Atkinson's 
life-time had advocated the formation of a new diocese, 
now reversed his position. Upon hearing the report of 
the special committee, the Bishop delivered "an impas- 
sioned attack upon the report." ^ The opposition of the 
Bishop led to a long and, at times, acrimonious discus- 
sion. When the question was finally voted upon, the 
committee's report was adopted by a large majority of 
the clergy and laity. The convention appointed a com- 

3 6 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

mittee of clergymen and laymen to confer with the 
Bishop upon the details of the division, to obtain his 
consent, and to report to the next diocesan convention. 
Cheshire was made a member of this committee. 

St. Peter's parish, Charlotte, was host to the diocesan 
convention of 1883. The most pressing and important 
business of this convention was the question of forming 
a new diocese. On the second day the Committee on 
Conference with the Bishop made its report. The com- 
mittee stated that after a consultation with the Bishop 
it found that he was opposed to a division of the Diocese 
because he felt that one bishop in good health could do 
the work for the entire state, and that the church in 
North Carolina was not financially able to support two 
bishops and two diocesan organizations. The Bishop told 
the committee, however, that he would consent to the 
erection of a new diocese provided a large majority of 
clergy and laity desired it, the line of division to be 
satisfactory to him, and the permanent funds to be di- 
vided equally between the two dioceses. Following the 
report the convention voted on the question: forty-two 
clergymen voted for division, and eleven against; twenty- 
nine parishes voted for, and ten against. Cheshire voted 
for the creation of a new diocese, as he had done in the 
convention the year before. 

When the question of a territorial division came up for 
discussion, Cheshire moved that the new diocese be com- 
posed of the counties of Hertford, Bertie, Martin, Pitt, 
Greene, Wayne, Sampson, Cumberland, and Robeson, 
and all that part of the state located between those coun- 
ties and the Atlantic coast. Cheshire later withdrew his 
motion when the special Committee on a Line of Division 
presented an amended report which embodied in sub- 

Saint Peter^s Parish 3 7 

stance his recommendation. The convention unanimously 
adopted the amended report. Cheshire was in favor of 
placing the counties of Edgecombe and Hahfax in the 
eastern Diocese and retaining Cumberland in the old 
Diocese. When he saw, however, that Bishop Lyman 
would not give up Edgecombe and Halifax, he recom- 
mended that Cumberland should be included in the new 
division. This was the arrangement finally adopted. 

After an agreement had been reached on the line of 
demarcation, Cheshire offered the following resolutions: 
(i) that the convention of 1883 ratify the work of the 
convention of 1882 relative to a division of the Diocese; 
(2) that the Bishop of the Diocese and the General Con- 
vention of the church be requested to give their consent 
to this procedure; and (3) that all the securities and 
properties of the church in North Carolina be equally 
divided between the two dioceses, as should be agreed 
upon by a committee representing both. Cheshire's reso- 
lutions were voted upon separately, and were all adopted. 
Following their approval the convention received a letter 
from Bishop Lyman announcing his consent to the for- 
mation of a new diocese. Thus was decided an important, 
and vexing, problem of the church in North Carolina. 

The convention of 1883 was the first in which Chesh- 
ire had taken a significant part, but from that time for- 
ward his influence and counsel became increasingly im- 
portant. He was made chairman of the committee on the 
division of diocesan properties. His committee had a 
difficult task in dividing the permanent funds of the 
church to the satisfaction of both dioceses. The problem 
caused a few very bitter discussions in several succeed- 
ing conventions. Cheshire usually led the discussions, 
often taking the side of the new diocese against Bishop 

3 8 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

Lyman and a majority in the convention. More often 
than not he won his point, since his opponents rarely 
took the pains to make themselves fully acquainted with 
the facts. Cheshire was sometimes accused of being dis- 
courteous in his manner towards the Bishop when they 
disagreed. It can be fairly said, however, that he was 
never intentionally so. In a letter to the Bishop he re- 
marked that he often spoke excitedly and impetuously 
upon any subject about which he felt very strongly, and 
that this characteristic was sometimes interpreted as dis- 
courtesy.^ Cheshire had the highest respect for Bishop 
Lyman and admired him both as a bishop and a man. 
Nevertheless, it was almost inevitable that two such de- 
cided and forthright characters as Lyman and Cheshire 
should have pronounced disagreements. 

One of Cheshire's most valuable contributions to the 
diocesan conventions was his services on the Committee 
on Canons. He was a member of this committee from 
1884 through 1893, with the exception of 1887-88, serv- 
ing as its chairman for several years. He made himself 
thoroughly acquainted with the canons of the church, 
and while serving on the committee, he did most of its 
work. During these years debates on the canons occupied 
much of the time of the annual conventions. Long after 
becoming bishop, Cheshire remarked that he was happy 
to observe that this was no longer true, and that "We 
have come to be interested in more important business." 
He did not mean to belittle the value of canonical law, 
but rather to emphasize the importance of other work. 

In 1887 Cheshire made a revision of the canons, ex- 
pecting the convention of that year to call for a revisal. 
He also carefully annotated the canons and the articles 
of the diocesan constitution. The convention of 1887 did 

Saint Feter^sTarish 39 

call for a revision to be made and be presented to it the 
next year. However, Cheshire was "surprised and dis- 
appointed" when the Bishop did not reappoint him to 
the Committee on Canons. Hearing of the work Cheshire 
had already done on the canons, Dr. Kemp P. Battle sug- 
gested that he should present to the next convention his 
revision as a substitute for the one to be proposed by 
the committee, Cheshire decided to follow this sugges- 
tion. When the committee presented its report to the 
convention of 1888, he rose to say that he had prepared 
a revision of the canons the year before and had been 
advised by some of his friends to offer it as a substitute. 
Several requests were made from the floor that he should 
explain his work. Following his explanation a motion 
was made that his revisal be adopted in place of that of 
the Committee on Canons. The motion was carried by 
a large majority, and after making several minor changes, 
the convention adopted Cheshire's revision. Its action 
was a signal tribute to the high character of Cheshire's 

From time to time Cheshire served on other regular 
and special committees. He was a member of the Execu- 
tive Missionary Committee from 1885 to 1891, and a 
member of the Board of Managers of the Thompson 
Orphanage from 1886 through 1893. In all his activities 
he manifested a zealous interest in the affairs of the Dio- 
cese. In consequence of his work in the diocesan con- 
ventions and his productive ministry in Charlotte, he 
came to be recognized as one of the outstanding clergy- 
men of the state. 

Cheshire's first personal contact with the work of the 
church outside of North Carolina was with the Univer- 
sity of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee. Feeling that 

40 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

the churchmen of his Diocese displayed an unwarrant- 
able lack of interest in the welfare of the University of 
the South, he resolved to bring to their attention the 
needs and opportunities of the institution. In 1885 he 
made an appeal for support of the school in the columns 
of the Church Messenger. He wrote personal letters to 
prominent churchmen, and made addresses on behalf of 
the University in as many parishes as he could con- 
veniently reach. His voluntary efforts met with some 
success. Perceiving Cheshire's active interest in the 
school. Dr. Jarvis Buxton, clerical trustee for the Uni- 
versity from the Diocese of North Carolina, resigned this 
position at the convention of 1885. Dr. Buxton then nom- 
inated Cheshire to succeed him, and the convention 
unanimously confirmed his nomination. From 1887 until 
he was elected bishop he attended every meeting of the 
trustees. During this period Cheshire formed many last- 
ing friendships with the trustees and professors he met 
at Sewanee. These associations gave him a better under- 
standing of the church's work outside of his Diocese. 

The diocesan convention further recoo^nized Chesh- 
ire's ability by electing him one of the clerical deputies 
to the Triennial General Convention of 1886. He was 
re-elected a deputy to the succeeding conventions of 
1889 and 1892. As far as the journals reveal, he did not 
take an active part in any of these meetings. It was 
characteristic of him to have little to say in a body of 
which he was a new member until he had become thor- 
oughly acquainted with its personnel and procedure. At 
the General Convention of 1889 he was made a member 
of the Missionary Council and was re-elected to the 
Council in 1892. Attendance upon these conventions 
further broadened his knowledge of the work of the 

Saint Peter^s Parish 41 

national church and brought him into contact with many 
of its prominent figures. 

In consequence of his energetic parochial work and 
his active participation in diocesan affairs, Cheshire re- 
ceived, during his rectorate at St. Peter's, several calls 
to other parishes. In September, 1888, the vestry of Cal- 
vary Church, Tarboro, asked him to become their rector 
to succeed his father, who wished to retire. Cheshire 
refused the call. It is to be supposed that he preferred 
the larger opportunities offered in Charlotte, but his 
personal papers do not reveal why he rejected the invi- 
tation. Writing to him concerning his refusal, Bishop 
Lyman stated that he was pleased to learn that Cheshire 
was to remain in Charlotte, and that he recognized "how 
great a calamity it would have been to the interest of 
the Church, in your own, and in the adjacent counties, 
had you decided to resign your present position. I am 
sure, too, that your determination to remain will greatly 
strengthen the hearts of those around you, and greatly 
increase your powers of usefulness." ® This commenda- 
tion of his work by Bishop Lyman, who was not in- 
clined to give excessive praise, must have been encourag- 
ing to Cheshire. Three years later he received a call from 
the vestry of St. Paul's Church, Macon, Georgia. They 
offered him a rectory and a salary of sixteen hundred 
dollars a year, but he also declined this call. 

The most complimentary consideration Cheshire re- 
ceived, prior to 1893, was in the summer of 1 891. At that 
time Rev. Henry Lucas, rector of St. Mark's Church, 
Brunswick, Georgia, in behalf of himself and several 
other clergymen, wrote Cheshire to ask if he had any 
objection to his name being used as a nominee for bishop 
of Georgia. Lucas stated that the diocesan convention 

42 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

of Georgia was to meet on July i, in Macon, to elect a 
bishop. Cheshire replied that if he were elected by the 
convention he would be "on the whole unwilling to 
accept." The Georgia convention met and elected a 
bishop, but Cheshire's name was not placed in nomina- 
tion because the delegates did not wish to risk a refusal. 
Rev. A. W. Dodge, a member of the convention, wrote 
Cheshire: "I think we could have elected you without 
any great difficulty if you had been willing to serve us." ^ 
In none of his writings examined does Cheshire give an 
explanation of his unwillingness to become bishop of 
Georgia. His love for North Carolina and its people and 
a sincere conviction that he should devote his life to 
the work of the church in this state is probably the best 
explanation of his decision. 

During these years in which Cheshire was assuming a 
greater share of diocesan work, his parochial and mis- 
sionary duties in and outside of Charlotte were not neg- 
lected. The only serious criticism of his services which 
was brought to his attention by his parishioners was that 
the missions in Iredell and Mecklenburg counties de- 
manded too much of his time. Cheshire, however, main- 
tained that in serving the rural missions he was at the 
same time building up St. Peter's, since the missions 
would eventually furnish many new members to the 
town parish. In spite of this criticism, he continued his 
missionary and institutional work. In 1885 and 1886 he 
gave wholehearted assistance to Rev. Edwin A. Osborne 
in establishing the Thompson Orphanage in Charlotte as 
a diocesan institution. The last parochial enterprise of 
St. Peter's Church in which he participated was the 
founding of the Good Samaritan Hospital for Negroes. 
The movement for the hospital was initiated by Mrs. 

Saint Fetefs Parish 43 

John Wilkes, with whom Cheshire co-operated in every 
way. He devoted much time to raising the money for 
the purchase of a lot. In 1888 he laid the cornerstone of 
the hospital and three years later officiated at its formal 
opening. The Good Samaritan was the first hospital for 
Negroes to be established in North Carolina. 

In the course of his pastorate in Charlotte Cheshire 
was on the friendliest of terms with the ministers of the 
other denominations, although he sometimes strongly 
differed with them. He was a member of the local Minis- 
terial Association, serving for a time as its vice-president. 
The association often passed resolutions inviting popular 
preachers to hold revivals in Charlotte. Cheshire, not in 
sympathy with professional revivalists, customarily op- 
posed this procedure. 

When the association once invited the well-known 
preacher, Sam Jones, to hold a series of services in Char- 
lotte for ten days, all the ministers except Cheshire closed 
their churches during the revival. At the time, he was 
criticized rather severely for his lack of co-operation. 
Some eighteen months later Jones announced he was re- 
turning for a second revival, although he had received 
no invitation. Hearing of his plans, the Baptist pastor, 
at the next meeting of the Ministerial Association, pro- 
posed a resolution that the ministers of the town should 
not close their churches during Jones' visit, nor co- 
operate with him. He declared that, while his church had 
gained a good many members immediately following the 
revivalist's services, most of them had by this time de- 
serted him, and the whole effect of Jones' preaching had 
been to lower and demoralize the religious life of his 
congregation. The other ministers concurred in his opin- 
ion. Cheshire, however, objected to the resolution on the 

44 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

grounds that he would not oppose any man who, as far 
as he knew, was "honestly trying to preach the Gospel 
as he understood it." He opposed it also as a matter of 
policy, since, in his opinion, nothing would please Jones 
more than to be able to say that "a lot of little two-by- 
four preachers got together, and voted to keep Sam 
Jones out of Charlotte." ^ Cheshire's argument con- 
vinced the other clergymen that he was right, and the 
resolution was dropped. The incident well illustrates his 
keen sense of fairness and good judgment. 

Cheshire's domestic and social life in Charlotte was 
happy and interesting. Although his salary was not 
large, he was able to make his family reasonably com- 
fortable. When he and Mrs. Cheshire left Chapel Hill, 
they had two children, Elizabeth and Sarah. During their 
twelve years in Charlotte four other children were bom 
to them— Joseph Blount, Annie, Godfrey, and James 
Webb. This was a large family to support on a clergy- 
man's salary, but by good management they were able 
to make their life pleasant. The Cheshires were hospitable 
people and enjoyed entertaining their friends. The Dean 
of the Convocation of Charlotte and the Diocesan Evan- 
gelist, as well as many other visiting clergymen, usually 
stayed with them when visiting St. Peter's parish. 

Cheshire made many friends in Charlotte outside of 
his congregation as well as among his parishioners. He 
accomplished a great deal in building up a more friendly 
attitude on the part of the other denominations towards 
the Episcopal Church. The fearless and positive stand he 
always took on questions involving the principles and 
policies of his church, while antagonizing some people 
for a time, in the end won him many admirers and the 
respect of all. 

Saint Peter^s Parish 45 

When Cheshire resigned his rectorate of St. Peter's 
in 1893 ^o become assistant bishop of the Diocese of 
North CaroUna, he left in the parish a record difficult 
for any future rector to equal. In the course of his 
twelve years at St. Peter's he had increased its member- 
ship from one hundred and thirty-seven to two hundred 
and sixty-three. He organized and established St. Mar- 
tin's parish, St. Michael and All Angels' mission for 
Negroes, St. Mark's mission at Mecklenburg, and St. 
Paul's mission at Aionroe. He sponsored the building of 
St. Peter's and the Good Samaritan hospitals, and assisted 
Rev. E. A. Osborne in establishing the Thompson Or- 
phanage. These \^'ere significant accomplishments for a 
rectorate of twelve years. But as almost everyone else, 
Cheshire also experienced some failures. In his attempts 
to establish missions at Rockingham, Mooresville, and 
Mount Moume, he had not been successful. However, 
balanced against his successes, these failures seem small. 


Election to the Episcopate 

Theodore Benedict Lyman was elected assistant bishop 
of North CaroHna in 1873, and upon the death of Bishop 
Thomas Atkinson in 1881 he assumed the control of the 
Diocese. In 1891 he celebrated in Christ Church, Ral- 
eigh, the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the 
priesthood. By this time the Bishop had begun to show 
signs that the duties of his office were becoming too 
arduous for his failing strength. It was not until two 
years later, however, that he felt that he must ask for 
assistance in his Episcopal duties. When the diocesan 
convention met in Christ Church, Raleigh, on May 17, 
1 893, Bishop Lyman brought to the attention of the body 
his failing health and the necessity of conserving his 
strength. He stated he would welcome any suggestions 
on the subject the convention saw fit to make. The sub- 
ject of assisting the Bishop was taken under considera- 
tion immediately, and a committee was appointed to 
study how best this might be accompHshed. 

The following day this committee recommended, in 
the form of several resolutions, that Bishop Lyman 
should be relieved of a part of his official work by the 


Election to the Episcopate 47 

election of an assistant bishop; that when the convention 
completed its present session it should adjourn to meet 
again in Raleigh on June 27 to elect an assistant bishop; 
and that the present convention should take steps to- 
wards determining a salary for the new office. The res- 
olutions were adopted in their entirety. 

Before taking up the proceedings of the adjourned con- 
vention, it is interesting to consider here some views 
Cheshire once expressed on the Episcopate in North Car- 
olina. In 1 89 1 a friend wrote him asking who he thought 
would make a good successor to Bishop Lyman. In reply 
to this query, Cheshire remarked that he did not approve 
of anyone's expressing an arbitrary opinion as to the 
choice of a bishop for this Diocese, but since that was 
what his friend desired, he would offer some suggestions. 
He declared that Dr. Francis J. Murdoch, Rector of St. 
Luke's, Salisbury, was his first choice, and characterized 
him as a learned, noble, and lovable man. His second and 
third choices were the Rev. Robert S. Barrett, of Atlanta, 
and the Rev. Mr. Winchester, of Nashville. Above every- 
thing, said Cheshire, "We want a plain man— one who 
can come down to the plain people of our country." He 
did not suggest anyone above the age of fifty, since he 
thought it was better to choose a clergyman "rather 
under than above his prime." Speaking in general of the 
election of bishops, Cheshire observed: "I really, and in 
all seriousness, think that there is something providential 
in the choice of a man to the office of Bishop. The best 
men are so often those who were hardly thought of be- 
forehand—sometimes hardly heard of." -^ To illustrate his 
point, he cited the elections of Bishops Ravenscroft, of 
North Carolina, Whipple, of Minnesota, and Jackson, of 
Alabama. These observations are particularly interesting. 

48 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

coming as they did only two years before the proposed 
election of an assistant bishop. 

When the adjourned convention convened in Christ 
Church on June 27, Bishop Lyman gave his canonical 
consent to the election of an assistant bishop. The con- 
vention then provided that the new office should carry 
with it an annual salary of twenty-five hundred dollars. 

At the afternoon session the doors of the convention 
were closed, and nominations for an assistant bishop 
by the clergy were in order. The clergymen nominated 
were Rev. Nathaniel H. Harding, Dr. Joseph Blount 
Cheshire, Jr., Rev. T. M. N. George, Dr. Francis J. Mur- 
doch, Dr. Matthias M. Marshall, and Rev. Robert S. Bar- 
rett. It is significant that all of these candidates, with the 
exception of R. S. Barrett, of Atlanta, were clergymen 
resident in North Carolina. It is also of interest that Mur- 
doch and Cheshire, who were to be the two most im- 
portant candidates, nominated each other. In his nomina- 
tion speech Dr. Murdoch said: "The good shepherd 
knows his sheep. This is pre-eminently true of Dr. Chesh- 
ire. He knows the people of North Carolina, their his- 
tory, their relationships, better perhaps than any other 
person living." ^ 

Under the rules of the convention the clergy elects a 
bishop by a two-thirds vote of their number. Their 
choice is then submitted to the laity, who either ratify or 
reject it. In this convention twenty-nine votes was the 
necessary majority for election. 

On the first three ballots, although all candidates re- 
ceived some votes, Cheshire led each time. But after the 
third ballot, the contest was narrowed down to Cheshire, 
Barrett, and Murdoch. Cheshire remained ahead through 
the sixth ballot; Murdoch then took the lead, which he 

Election to the Episcopate 49 

held, with the exception of five ballots, through the 
twenty-fourth. During this balloting, Barrett led all can- 
didates twice and tied with Murdoch for the highest 
number three times. After the twenty-fourth ballot 
Cheshire asked to be excused from further attendance. He 
explained that he had expected the convention to last 
only one day and had accordingly promised to marry a 
friend on the twenty-eighth.* He was excused, and with- 
out further balloting the convention adjourned at eleven- 
thirty in the evening. 

The following morning balloting was resumed, with 
Murdoch continuing to hold his lead. On the twenty- 
ninth ballot the Rev. Arthur S. Lloyd, of Norfolk, Vir- 
ginia, was nominated and remained in the contest until 
the end. From the thirty-second through the thirty- 
fifth ballots Cheshire did not receive a single vote; while 
from the thirty-sixth through the thirty-eighth he re- 
ceived only one vote on each. Before the thirty-seventh 
was taken, Rev. W. S. Barrows moved that if no one was 
elected within the next two ballots, the clergy should re- 
tire from the convention for a conference. His motion 
was carried. Since no election took place, the clergy re- 
paired to Christ Church chapel for prayer and confer- 

There was a small minority in the convention, number- 
ing ten or twelve clergymen, who were opposed to elect- 
ing anyone from the Diocese of North Carolina. This 
minority held the balance between the stronger candi- 
dates and thus prevented an election. All attempts to 
compromise with the minority on some candidate other 
than Murdoch or Cheshire failed. Thereupon, when the 

* Dr. Stephen B. Weeks was the friend Cheshire referred to. The 
wedding took place in Randolph County. 

50 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

clergy met in the chapel, it was agreed that they should 
arrive at a choice by the process of elimination. After sev- 
eral votes were taken, the selection lay between Cheshire 
and Murdoch. The supporters of both men then agreed 
to vote in the convention for the one who received the 
highest vote in this conference. When the votes were 
counted, it was found that Cheshire led by a majority of 
one. The clergy then re-entered the church and took the 
thirty-ninth ballot, which resulted in twenty-nine votes 
for Cheshire, seven for Lloyd, and five scattered. The laity 
quickly confirmd the choice of the clergy by a vote of 
twenty-four to seven; whereupon the Bishop declared 
Rev. Joseph Blount Cheshire, Jr., elected assistant bishop 
of the Diocese and appointed a committee to notify him 
of his election. 

After performing the promised marriage ceremony, 
Cheshire went to High Point to spend the night. When 
he arrived, he found several telegrams from friends con- 
gratulating him upon his election. Describing his reaction 
to the news, he said that he "could not comprehend what 
they meant, and thought there must be some mistake. I 
was more deeply agitated than I could have anticipated." 
The following day he wrote his father: "The one thing 
in the election at Raleigh which gives me unmixed satis- 
faction is the knowledge that it would be a happiness to 
you and to mother. In every other respect my feelings 
are of so confused a kind that I hardly know myself what 
to do or say. ... I feel that this election has its human 
cause and origin in your life-long labor for the church, 
and in the name and good will of our people which I 
have derived from you and not made for myself." ^ This 
sincere statement of his thoughts about his election was 
characteristic of Cheshire. He felt profoundly the great 

Election to the Episcopate 5 1 

responsibility which had been placed upon him, and 
wrote a friend that he could never have undertaken it 
had he not felt that he had the "sympathy, co-operation, 
and prayer" ^ of his people. 

The month following his election Cheshire received 
more than two hundred letters and telegrams of congrat- 
ulation. They came from clergymen and laymen in and 
outside of North Carolina, and a great many were from 
persons who were not members of the Episcopal Church. 
One of the most common sentiments found in these let- 
ters was the pleasure and gratification expressed at the 
election of a North Carolinian as assistant bishop. It is a 
noteworthy fact that Cheshire was the first native clergy- 
man of the state to be elected to the Episcopate of the 
Diocese of North Carolina. 

Dr. Francis J. Murdoch, as well as many of his adher- 
ents, sent their sincere congratulations. In a circular letter 
to his supporters, thanking them for their efforts in his 
behalf. Dr. Murdoch said of Cheshire: "The election has 
ended as I wished. Other men may tremble as to the out- 
come. I have not one misgiving. Neither love for Dr. 
Cheshire nor prejudice against any man can warp my 
judgment in this matter. I say now (as I said when I nom- 
inated him) that we have made no mistake." ^ This warm 
praise from a man of Dr. Murdoch's high character and 
ability must have been very encouraging to Cheshire. 

An amusing and interesting tribute to Cheshire's elec- 
tion as assistant bishop were some verses by Rev. John 
E. C. Smedes. Dr. Smedes, a former clergyman of the 
Diocese, had been one of Cheshire's examiners for dea- 
con's orders and had presented him for ordination as 
priest. His lines are as follows: 

52 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

Congratulations to a Bishop-elect 

News sweeter and fresher 
I ask not, Joe Cheshire: 
You are bishop assistant 
Elect; though too distant 
For love's fondest issue, 
Alas! or I'd kiss you. 
'Twas my joy to examine you 
And find no mean sham in you; 
For deep did they ram in you, 
At Berkeley and Trinity, 
A full charge of divinity. 
'Twas my joy, mine eye feasted, 
To see duly priested 
The youth I presented. 
And now I'm contented: 
They will make you a bishop. 
I send a meek wish up 
To the Shepherd above. 
That in wisdom and love 
You may long feed His sheep, 
While the Faith you still keep, 
And then, crosier laid down, 
May at last wear a crown. 

Shortly after his election Cheshire received an invita- 
tion from the vestry of Calvary Church, Tarboro, to 
have his consecration service held there. He accepted the 
invitation and selected October 1 5 as the date. It was in- 
deed fitting that he should be consecrated in the church 
which his father had served for a half century and in 
which he himself had been brought up and ordained to 
the diaconate. 

On the day of Cheshire's consecration the little town 

Election to the Episcopate 5 3 

of Tarboro was taxed almost to its capacity to take care 
of the out-of-town people who had come for the service. 
About thirty clergymen from the dioceses of North Car- 
olina and East Carolina were present. The service began 
at eleven in the morning. The ecclesiastical procession, 
headed by seven bishops and the bishop-elect, entered the 
church singing the hymn "The Church's One Founda- 
tion." Rt. Rev. T. U. Dudley, Bishop of Kentucky, 
preached the sermon. Bishop Lyman was the consecrator, 
assisted by Bishops Watson, of East Carolina, and Capers, 
of South Carolina. Cheshire was presented by Bishop 
Weed, of Florida, and Bishop Sessums, of Louisiana. The 
venerable Bishop Quintard, of Tennessee, also took part 
in the service. All of the bishops joined in the laying on 
of hands. During the service the choir sang the anthem 
"How Beautiful upon the Mountains are the Feet of 
Them that Publish Good Tidings," composed by Rev. 
Dr. M. A. Curtis. It is interesting to note that this anthem 
was sung at the ordination of Dr. J. B. Cheshire, Sr., in 
1840 and at the ordination of Rev. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., in 
1880. The service closed with the singing of the reces- 
sional "Holy, Holy, Holy." It was a beautiful and im- 
pressive ceremony, but its beauty was marred for Chesh- 
ire by the absence of his father, who was not well enough 
to attend. 

Bishop Cheshire's first episcopal act was to hold an eve- 
ning service in Tarboro, the night of his consecration, at 
St. Luke's Chapel for Negroes. He did not lose any time 
in assuming the duties of his new office. While in Tar- 
boro he made several visitations in Edgecombe and Hali- 
fax counties. On October 2 3 he and his family returned 
to Charlotte, but he did not tarry long. A few days later 
he set out for the mountains of North Carolina, where 

54 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

he spent a month visiting the scattered churches and mis- 
sions in that section. Returning from the mountains, he 
continued his visitations until he was suddenly called to 
Raleigh on December 1 3 by the death of Bishop Lyman, 
who had been in greatly enfeebled health for the past 
few months. 

The death of Bishop Lyman placed the Assistant Bishop 
in full charge of the Diocese of North Carolina. The few 
weeks of work Bishop Cheshire had had under the direc- 
tion and advice of the senior bishop stood him in good 
stead now that he had the sole responsibility for episcopal 
guidance of the Diocese. 


First Years in the Episcopacy 

When Bishop Cheshire assumed the episcopal oversight 
of the Diocese of North CaroHna, he felt little confidence 
in his ability to fulfill the duties of the office. He did feel 
that by sincere and diligent application he could accom- 
plish much for the welfare of the church. When elected 
assistant bishop he was, in his own words, "constrained to 
accept the call, not from any sense of fitness in myself, 
but simply because such a call seems to me to carry with 
it an imperative obligation to accept, unless the hand of 
God should plainly point in another direction: a dispen- 
sation was laid upon me." ^ Notwithstanding his expressed 
views. Bishop Cheshire was, in the opinion of most 
churchmen, better fitted for his office by ability, tempera- 
ment, and training than any other man in North Carolina. 
Bishop Cheshire met his first diocesan convention in 
May, 1 894, at St. Paul's Church, Winston. He opened his 
annual address by saying: "I cannot bring into any order 
or method in my own mind, much less can I put it into 
words, the feehngs which this occasion calls up. To no 
one can it seem stranger than it does to myself that I 
should occupy this place, and thus address you from the 


$6 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

chair of Ravenscroft, of Atkinson, and of him so lately 
taken from us." He made no recommendations for im- 
portant changes in the policy or work of the church, 
since he wished to become more thoroughly acquainted 
with the problems and needs of the Diocese before doing 
so. The Bishop urged upon the clergy then, as he was 
to do many times in the future, the necessity of keeping 
their parochial records in proper order, and observed that 
no businessman would employ a clerk for a week if he 
kept his books as many of the parish registers were kept. 
In concluding his address, the Bishop touched on three 
subjects which were to be collectively the theme of his 
episcopate: namely, the importance of regarding the Dio- 
cese rather than the parish as the unit of the church; the 
necessity of supporting all diocesan institutions; and the 
great need for continuing and expanding the missionary 
work of the Diocese, Time and time again he drove home 
the spirit and essence of these subjects, until the clergy 
and laity alike caught some of the fire of his enthusiasm 
and translated his ideas into living reality. 

One of the first diocesan projects Bishop Cheshire un- 
dertook was the revival of the old mission of Valle Crucis, 
established by Bishop Ives about fifty years before. At 
the same time he planned to revive the mission work 
along the Watauga River. For this difficult work the 
Bishop had one man in mind who he thought was emi- 
nently qualified— Rev, Milnor Jones. His first meeting 
with Jones had been at the convention of 1883. Shortly 
afterwards, Bishop Lyman had asked Cheshire if he would 
carry to Jones a sum of money which had been raised 
to aid him in erecting a church at Tryon. The Bishop had 
added that he hoped Cheshire would spend a few days 
with Jones to observe his work. Cheshire complied with 

First Years in the Episcopacy 5 7 

the Bishop's request, and spent a few unforgettable days 
with Jones, driving with him over the hills and valleys of 
Polk County to visit his scattered missions. At the time, 
he had been greatly impressed with Jones' influence with 
the mountain people. When he began to plan the revival 
of Valle Crucis, he remembered his experience with the 
picturesque mountain missionary. 

Milnor Jones, however, was in Oregon when the 
Bishop was ready to commence his mountain work. In 
January, 1894, Cheshire wrote asking him to return to 
North Carolina. In replying to Bishop Cheshire, Jones 
wrote this characteristically laconic letter: "Where do 
you want me to go? What do you wish me to do? And 
what salary will you give? Not that the amount of the 
salary makes any difference; I only wish to know just 
what I have to go on." The Bishop answered as concisely: 
"I want you to go to Valle Crucis, on the Watauga River. 
I want you to revive the old Valle Crucis Mission, as 
your special work; and I give you for your field of opera- 
tions Watauga, Mitchell, and Ashe Counties, to do what 
you can in them. I will give you six hundred dollars a 
year, payable monthly." ^ 

Milnor Jones was a rough, plain-spoken individual 
with a remarkable faculty for understanding and winning 
the confidence of the simple mountain folk. He had a 
deeply religious nature, and a complete fearlessness in 
preaching the Gospel as he understood it. Bishop Cheshire 
found him an unusually effective man in laying the foun- 
dations of missionary work, but from that point he 
seemed to lack the power to build further. 

Jones entered with enthusiasm upon his work in the 
mountains of North Carolina. When the Bishop began 
his visitations to the western counties in June, 1895, he 

58 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

found that Jones had made a promising beginning. Bishop 
Cheshire spent several weeks with him, visiting one mis- 
sion station after another in the counties of Mitchell, Wa- 
tauga, and Ashe. They preached, baptized, and confirmed 
in the most out-of-the-way places and under the most 
varied conditions. When they first visited Bakersville 
they held services in the courthouse, but upon their re- 
turn for a second service some time later, they were re- 
fused the use of the building on the grounds that the 
courthouse was not safe for large crowds. The local 
newspaper, however, gave as the reason for the refusal 
the fact that the Methodists and Baptists held that "the 
EpiscopaHans had been preaching uncomfortable doc- 
trine." The Bishop and Jones were not to be daunted; 
they held their service on the street in front of the court- 
house. A large congregation gathered for the service. 
When the Bishop began preaching he did not think his 
voice would reach the assemblage, but after a few min- 
utes he felt as if he could make himself heard "a mile 
away." He afterwards declared that "I never spoke with 
more ease, freedom, and enjoyment, or with a greater 
sense of the high privilege of being a servant and ambas- 
sador of my Lord." ^ 

Another interesting episode in Bishop Cheshire's mis- 
sion work in the mountains took place at Beaver Creek, 
Ashe County, in the summer of 1896. Here the Bishop 
and Jones were maintaining a mission school with two 
teachers in a building which had been leased for two 
years. When the Bishop went to the schoolhouse to hold 
a service, he was met by a mob of more than fifty men 
who "forcibly prevented" him from entering. The mob 
declared that the reason they were preventing him from 
holding his service was that they did not like "Mr. Jones's 

First Years in the Episcopacy 59 

doctrine" and they understood that he, the Bishop, 
taught the same doctrine. In reporting the incident to the 
convention of the Jurisdiction of Asheville, the Bishop 
described it as "an experience which I certainly had never 
thought a possibiHty in my native state of North Caro- 
lina." "^ 

In reviving the old mission at Valle Crucis Bishop 
Cheshire did not intend to follow the plan of Bishop Ives, 
which had been to establish a boys' school and a train- 
ing school for the clergy. His primary motive was to 
evangelize the people of the mountain counties. He 
wanted to make Valle Crucis "an associate mission from 
which preachers and teachers should go out and keep up 
the work of evangelizing, instructing, and educating 
wherever an opening might be found or made." ^ 

Milnor Jones, carrying letters of introduction from his 
Bishop, in the fall of 1895 visited the northern states to 
raise funds for his mountain work. He was successful in 
his efforts and, with the money thus raised, mission schools 
were established at Valle Crucis and at Beaver Creek. In 
the course of 1896 and 1897 a mission home, consisting 
of an eight-room house, was erected at Valle Crucis at a 
cost of twelve hundred dollars. It was built to accommo- 
date a missionary, a teacher, and several pupils attending 
the mission school. Shortly after this constructive begin- 
ning Milnor Jones gave up the work at Valle Crucis. He 
confined his efforts to the small mission stations scattered 
over Mitchell, Watauga, and Ashe counties. The Bishop 
placed Rev. Samuel F. Adams in charge of Valle Crucis, 
and under his guidance and that of his successors the 
work progressed steadily. 

Milnor Jones left North Carolina towards the end of 
1897. He, with the assistance and encouragement of 

6o Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

Bishop Cheshire, had laid the foundations of a missionary 
work which was to be a credit to the church. Referring 
once to the character of Jones' work, the Bishop re- 
marked: "If I had a wild mountain country full of moon- 
shiners, I think I would like to have him, but for anything 
more civilized he is too savage." ^ With all of Jones' 
crudeness and faults. Bishop Cheshire believed him to be 
"really a more Godly man than many an one whose life 
is perfectly conventional and blameless." The Bishop 
often remarked that the visits he made to Milnor Jones 
in the mountains of North Carolina were among the most 
interesting experiences of his career. 

Coinciding with Bishop Cheshire's efforts to expand 
and revive the missionary work of the church in the 
mountains, a movement was initiated to create a mission- 
ary district from the western counties of the Diocese of 
North Carolina. At the diocesan convention of 1894 a 
committee was appointed to study the advisability of re- 
questing the General Convention to organize the western 
counties of the state into a missionary jurisdiction. It was 
felt by many that the present Diocese was too large to be 
adequately administered and supervised by one bishop. In 
his address to the convention of 1895 Bishop Cheshire 
substantiated this view when he reported that during the 
past year he had been able to devote only nine weeks to 
the western section of the state, which embraced nearly 
thirty counties. 

The Bishop was "in sentiment" strongly opposed to a 
division of his Diocese, for he disliked seeing the church 
in North Carolina divided further. Also, he had become 
deeply interested in his mountain missions and was loath 
to relinquish them. He realized, however, the impossibil- 
ity of properly serving such a large territory. Moreover, 

First Years in the Episcopacy 6 1 

he was determined not to make the mistake which he 
thought Bishop Atkinson, in 1877, and Bishop Lyman, 
in 1882, had made when they opposed the formation of 
a new diocese. In his opinion, a bishop "makes a mistake, 
when he opposes the well-settled convictions of his 
clergy and people upon a matter affecting the develop- 
ment of the Diocese." ^ 

When the diocesan convention met in May, 1895, the 
Committee on the Proposed Missionary Jurisdiction rec- 
ommended that the General Convention be requested to 
set apart the western section of the Diocese of North 
Carolina as a missionary jurisdiction. It was further rec- 
ommended that the line of division should be the eastern 
boundaries of the counties of Alleghany, Wilkes, Alex- 
ander, Catawba, Lincoln and Gaston. Bishop Cheshire 
had suggested to the committee this territorial division. 
Although it meant a great loss of strength to his own Dio- 
cese, the Bishop believed that the missionary jurisdiction 
should be made large enough to be of importance, and 
that it should be created with the view of its becoming 
a diocese at some future date. The convention adopted 
the committee's recommendations, and instructed its dep- 
uties to present them to the General Convention. 

When this body met in the fall of 1895, Bishop Chesh- 
ire presented in the House of Bishops the memorial of 
the Diocese of North Carolina requesting the erection of 
a missionary jurisdiction. The memorial was referred to 
the Committee on Domestic Missions. A few days later 
the Bishop of Florida, chairman of the committee, re- 
ported the memorial unfavorably, stating that his com- 
mittee did not believe the reasons set forth were sufficient 
to justify an affirmative action. He further reported that 
the legal and constitutional requirements had not been 

6i Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

properly provided for. Bishop Cheshire then introduced 
a resolution calling for the erection of a missionary dis- 
trict and providing that it should be under the limited 
jurisdiction of the Bishop and Convention of the Diocese 
of North Carolina until such constitutional amendments 
could be adopted to remove the objections advanced by 
the Bishop of Florida. The House of Bishops adopted the 
resolution with little discussion, and two days later it was 
approved by the House of Deputies. Following this ac- 
tion Bishop Cheshire moved that the House of Bishops 
should proceed to the election of a missionary bishop for 
the newly created district. His motion met with opposi- 
tion and was postponed to a future meeting of the House 
of Bishops. The district, which was to be known as the 
Jurisdiction of Asheville, was temporarily placed under 
the episcopal care of Bishop Cheshire. 

Only a few weeks after the close of the General Con- 
vention, Bishop Cheshire, on November 12, 1895, met the 
first convention of the Missionary Jurisdiction of Ashe- 
ville. He outlined to the clergy and laity what would be 
expected of them as a missionary jurisdiction, and gave 
much helpful advice on setting up the machinery for 
carrying on their work. The Bishop called to their atten- 
tion the almost incalculable opportunities for extending 
the influence of the church in the mountain counties. The 
next year he greatly expanded this idea in a charge to 
the clergy of the Jurisdiction. The Bishop pointed out 
that nine-tenths of the work in the Jurisdiction of Ashe- 
ville was to evangelize people who were almost wholly 
ignorant of the church. Such material aids as rec- 
tories, schoolhouses, and even churches, while undoubt- 
edly helpful, were not necessary adjuncts to the primary 
object of the church: "to catch men." He urged the 

First Years in the Episcopacy 63 

clergy to know the people, to preach to them in words 
they could understand, and to make religion an integral 
part of their lives. 

After completing his first year in charge of the Juris- 
diction of Asheville, and after a careful study of the man- 
ifold problems peculiar to it, Bishop Cheshire was con- 
vinced that the erection of the missionary jurisdiction 
was "an act of wise and prudent statesmanship." He 
thought that a missionary who had the oversight of three 
or four counties sorely needed regular visitations from 
the bishop, and in his opinion the work could be more 
effectively carried on if the bishop were able to remain 
a week or more with each missionary. He pressed these 
points upon the members of the House of Bishops in 
strongly advocating the election of a bishop for the Juris- 
diction. Finally, in the fall of 1898, the House of Bishops 
elected the Rev. Junius Moore Horner, a native North 
Carolinian, as missionary bishop of the Jurisdiction of 
Asheville. He was consecrated on December 28, 1898, 
in Trinity Church, Asheville, with Bishop Cheshire as 
the consecrator. After this service Bishop Cheshire for- 
mally turned over to Bishop Homer the full administra- 
tion of the Jurisdiction. 

Turning now to a wholly different phase of Bishop 
Cheshire's work, we take up one of the most important 
achievements of his long episcopate, the establishment of 
St. Mary's School for girls as a church institution. This 
school had been founded in Raleigh by Dr. Aldert Smedes 
in 1842, and had been nurtured and maintained, through 
good and hard times, by its founder and his son and suc- 
cessor, Dr. Bennett Smedes. St. Mary's was not a church 
school, but its two rectors had been Episcopal clergymen, 
and thus the institution had been under the exclusive in- 

64 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

fluence of the Episcopal Church. By 1896 Dr. Bennett 
Smedes was finding it very difficult to compete with pub- 
licly supported and privately endowed schools. At this 
time he made it known that he could no longer continue 
St. iMary's as a private school. 

The Alumnae Association of St. Mary's at once took 
action to preserve the school for the church. It sent a 
memorial to the diocesan convention of 1896, in which 
it appealed to the Episcopal Church in North Carolina 
"either to endow the School, or to erect for it suitable 
buildings in Raleigh or elsewhere, and thus relieve it of 
one great drain, its heavy rent." The appeal met with 
sympathetic attention from Bishop Cheshire. Only the 
year before, he had remarked to the convention: "I have 
been, from earliest childhood, brought up to look upon 
St. Mary's School, at Raleigh, as the most valuable of all 
our church institutions or agencies in North Carolina. . . . 
I cannot too highly recommend this school to the confi- 
dence of all the people of North Carolina." 

After careful consideration of the St. Mary's Alumnae 
memorial, the convention adopted a resolution providing 
for the appointment of a committee of six, to include the 
Bishop, with the authority to buy suitable buildings for 
a girls' school or to purchase land and erect new build- 
ings. In direct reply to the memorialists, Bishop Cheshire 
offered a resolution, which the convention adopted, as- 
suring the alumnae that the church in North Carolina 
"will do all in its power to place St. Mary's School upon 
a permanent foundation as an institution under the 
charge and patronage of the Church throughout the en- 
tire State. . . ." 

At the convention of 1897 the special committee on a 
diocesan school for girls reported that it had procured a 

First Years in the Episcopacy 6^ 

charter of incorporation for the Board of Trustees of St. 
Mary's School from the state legislature, and had turned 
over to this corporation all further negotiations. The 
newly constituted Board of Trustees, of which Bishop 
Cheshire was chairman, then made its report. It recom- 
mended that not less than one hundred thousand dollars 
be raised for the purchase of a location, the erection of 
buildings, and an endowment of St. Mary's School. The 
Board announced that it had contracted to purchase for 
fifty thousand dollars a site known as the St. Mary's 
Tract. The convention adopted the report as it was made. 

During the past year, at the request of the Trustees, 
Bishop Cheshire had spent a month visiting many towns 
throughout the state in an attempt to interest the people 
of the church in the needs and potentialities of St. Mary's 
School. His efforts met with gratifying success. He ap- 
pealed to the women of the state, and especially to the 
alumnae of St. Mary's, to raise fifty thousand dollars for 
an endowment which should be known as "The St. 
Mary's Alumnae Association Fund." To stimulate the in- 
terest and increase the activity of the women in this plan. 
Bishop Cheshire organized the "Order of the Patrons and 
Daughters of St. Mary's." He proposed to find fifty 
women who would give five hundred dollars each to- 
wards the endowment, and two hundred and fifty others 
who would each contribute one hundred dollars. He re- 
ported to the convention of 1897 that he had raised a sub- 
stantial amount in this way. 

Thus, St. Mar}^'s was established as the official school 
of the Episcopal Church in North Carolina. The Diocese 
of East Carolina and the Jurisdiction of Asheville had 
agreed to contribute to the maintenance of the school 
and were given representation on the Board of Trustees. 

66 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

Dr. Bennett Smedes was retained as rector of the school 
and continued in this position until his death in 1 899. The 
first year the school was under the control of the church 
the number of boarding students increased fifty per cent. 
To a great extent the enlarged enrollment was due to the 
renewed interest which Bishop Cheshire had aroused. 

In the course of his negotiations to establish St. Mary's 
as a church school, the Bishop discovered that the church- 
men of South Carolina had been for some time loyal and 
generous supporters of the school. After reflection upon 
this fact, he determined to ask the Diocese of South Caro- 
lina to co-operate in the maintenance and management 
of St. Mary's. When he discussed the subject with the 
Board of Trustees, it was decided to appoint a committee 
of the Board to meet at Saluda to confer with representa- 
tives from South Carolina. The conference was held in 
August, 1898. After a friendly and constructive discus- 
sion, the conference resolved that St. Mary's School 
should be placed under the "control and patronage of 
all the Carolina Dioceses." 

Bishop Cheshire met with the convention of the Dio- 
cese of South Carolina in the spring of 1899 and pre- 
sented the advantages and possibilities of St. Mary's as a 
church institution. The resolution of the Saluda confer- 
ence was reported to the convention and was unanimously 
adopted. Bishop Capers, two clergymen, and two laymen 
were appointed to the Board of Trustees to represent 
South Carolina. After patient and diligent work Bishop 
Cheshire was able to unite the church of the two states 
in the support of one church school for girls. In a com- 
paratively short time it was to become the largest Episco- 
pal school for girls in the United States. 

First Years in the Episcopacy 67 

In the winter of 1897 Bishop Cheshire suffered an ir- 
reparable loss in the death of his wife. Their married life 
of twenty-two years had been remarkably happy. Mrs. 
Cheshire had been a great help to him in his work as 
deacon and priest and later as bishop of the Diocese. She 
gave him encouragement, devotion, and the benefit of her 
sound common sense. The Bishop often spoke of how 
much she meant to him in his work, and of their happy 
life together. 

It was a fortunate coincidence that the Lambeth Con- 
ference came in the summer of 1897, for it enabled him 
to have a complete change, removing him from those as- 
sociations which reminded him so strongly of his wife. 
The Lambeth Conference, which convenes approximately 
every ten years at Lambeth Palace, London, is composed 
of all the bishops of the Episcopal Church throughout the 
world. Bishop Cheshire decided to attend, believing it 
would be broadening and an exceedingly worth-while 
experience. The object of the Conference was to discuss 
religious questions of world-wide interest. In the course 
of its sessions it would be divided into groups which 
would discuss problems relating to particular countries. 

The Bishop sailed from New York on June 2, arriving 
in England six days later. Since the Conference did not 
commence until July i, he spent the intervening time 
sight-seeing. This was the summer of Queen Victoria's 
Diamond Jubilee, giving an additional interest to his trip. 
He attended the Jubilee service at St. Paul's, and re- 
marked that the Bishop of London preached "a good 
sermon" for the occasion. 

The Lambeth Conference was formally opened at 
Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
who was to preside over its sessions. There were present 

68 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

for the Conference one hundred and ninety-four bishops 
from all parts of the world. Forty-nine of these represented 
the Episcopal Church of the United States. The sessions 
of the Conference continued through July 31. Bishop 
Cheshire was a member of the committee on church 
unity, and, as far as his journal reveals, this was the only 
committee on which he served. Reporting upon the Lam- 
beth Conference to his diocesan convention the following 
year. Bishop Cheshire said: "The first message which we 
bring home from the Lambeth Conference of 1897 is 
that God in His Providence is opening the world to us; 
and to prepare us for the work we are to do. He is draw- 
ing all parts of the world-possessing Anglo-Saxon race 
into a closer union of common interest and sympathies, 
and of mutual confidence." He declared that the Ameri- 
can bishops, while receiving much benefit from the Con- 
ference, had also contributed constructively to its work. 
Shortly after the Conference closed. Bishop Cheshire 
visited the Archbishop of York for a few days. Upon 
leaving York he spent about a month traveling in Eng- 
land, Scotland, the Orkneys, and Ireland. In early Sep- 
tember he left England for the Continent, where he 
visited in succession Antwerp, Brussels, and Cologne. Of 
his reactions to the cathedrals of these three cities, the 
Bishop observed that they "do not seem to me to be really 
so full of interest and beauty as even the inferior English 
cathedrals. They do not so abound with evidences and 
symbols of their connection with the life and history of 
the country and people, and so in spite of all their orna- 
mentation they have a barren look." ^ The Bishop did 
some further sight-seeing in Germany, Switzerland, and 
France. While in Switzerland he saw the famous Lion of 
Lucerne, which he thought possessed "a dignity, noble- 

First Years in the Episcopacy 69 

ness, and beauty about it which exceeds anything of the 
kind I have ever seen before." Leaving from Southamp- 
ton, he arrived in New York on September 24, feeUng 
much refreshed and ready to return to the work of his 

Two years after his visit to England Bishop Cheshire 
married Miss Elizabeth Lansdale Mitchell, of Beltsville, 
Maryland. She was the daughter of Rev. Walter A. 
Mitchell, an Episcopal clergyman. The marriage proved 
to be happy and successful in every way. Mrs. Cheshire 
was a splendid mother to the Bishop's children, and they 
all became devoted to her. 

When a friend heard that Bishop Cheshire was to be 
married, he remarked to the Bishop that with his large 
family he needed a wife. With his characteristic honesty 
the Bishop replied: "I don't need any such thing. My 
daughters take the best care of me and want me to have 
the best of everything. I don't need a wife; I am marry- 
ing again just because I want to." ^ 

From the General Convention of 1895 to that of 193 1, 
Bishop Cheshire attended every triennial meeting of this 
body. In the first three or four conventions, he did not 
take an active part in the discussions of the House of 
Bishops. For that matter, he never participated as prom- 
inently in its deliberations as some of the other bishops. 
At the 1895 convention he was appointed to the commit- 
tees on the Admission of New Dioceses and on the Con- 
secration of Bishops, and at the next triennial meeting he 
was made a member of the Joint Commission on the Re- 
vision of the Constitution and Canons. This last appoint- 
ment pleased him, since it was the kind of work for 
which he was well prepared. His legal training influenced 
his partiality for this type of work. In 1904 he was ap- 

70 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

pointed to the Committee on Canons, on which he served 
for almost every convention until his death. As a mem- 
ber of this committee he made his most important contri- 
bution to the work of the General Convention. It will 
be recalled that it was in this capacity that he had done 
his best work in the diocesan conventions. From time to 
time he was made a member of other regular and special 

When Bishop Cheshire assumed the office of bishop of 
the Diocese of North Carolina, he felt it his duty to exer- 
cise the full authority of that office. In deciding upon this 
course of action he did not intend to be arbitrary or des- 
potic in administering the Diocese, although at times 
some clergymen and laymen seemed to think so. But 
when they became better acquainted with him and his 
methods, they admired and respected him the more. The 
Bishop had a forthright, and sometimes decidedly blunt, 
manner of speaking, which, to those who did not know 
him so well, seemed arbitrary or overbearing. He had dis- 
agreements with his clergymen, but they felt that they 
could always count upon receiving a fair hearing from 
him. When the Bishop realized he was in error upon any 
point, no one was quicker than he to admit it. 

In 1895 Bishop Cheshire, for the first time in the his- 
tory of the Diocese, issued to the clergy "Visitation Arti- 
cles," as called for by a canon of the church. After em- 
ploying them for a year he found they were useful and 
"calculated to make the visitations of the Bishop of more 
real value to the Clergy and to the people. The Bishop has 
for so long a time ceased to exert any real influence or 
control in the ordinary life and work of the parish in all 
parts of the United States, that the assertion of that au- 
thority, which in theory our Bishops are supposed to pos- 

First Years in the Episcopacy 7 1 

sess, is perhaps impracticable at present." ^^ He thought 
that if the bishop would make himself acquainted with 
the affairs of each congregation during his visitation, it 
would strengthen the influence of the episcopate, and 
would go far towards the "breaking up of our present 
congregational parochialism." One of Bishop Cheshire's 
customs which endeared him to his people was that of 
calling upon the members of a congregation during his 
visitation. Of this practice he once remarked: "People 
like the attention and it makes Bishop and people feel 
nearer together, but in most cases they do not want very 
long visits." ^^ The Bishop's keen understanding of hu- 
man nature was one of his most notable qualities. 

Bishop Cheshire thought that southern bishops had a 
great deal to be thankful for, particularly that in the 
South "as much as anywhere in the world, I believe, the 
Bishop may still be in some real and personal sense, the 
pastor of his flock, can live in familiar and confidential 
relations with his people." He deplored the tendency, 
which seemed to be growing in some quarters, of making 
the bishop simply an administrator of ecclesiastical affairs. 

While Bishop Cheshire was in no sense a ritualist, or 
what is commonly known as high church, he believed in 
a strict adherence to the rubrics of the Book of Common 
Prayer. He had a great reverence and admiration for the 
services of the Prayer Book, and consequently little pa- 
tience with those clergymen who attempted to alter their 
order or length. He was not a dogmatic formalist, but 
was thoroughly convinced that the canons and rubrics of 
the church should be obeyed and not disregarded by 
those individuals who might take exception to them. 

In a charge to his clergy on the subject of Public Wor- 
ship, Bishop Cheshire pointed out that the church was 

72 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

established and is sustained by Christ for two purposes: 
"first, to be the depository and source of spiritual Truth 
and Power; and second, to bring men into living contact 
with that spiritual Truth and Power." The Prayer Book 
is a means by which the church can diffuse and extend 
the truth, and it is also a means of developing and con- 
serving the influence of the church. In his opinion, ex- 
temporary methods of worship had a tendency to weaken 
and finally destroy the concept of common public wor- 
ship. The public worship of the Episcopal Church was 
not left to individual whim or judgment, but was def- 
initely prescribed. He maintained that the participation 
of the congregation in the services and sacraments of the 
church is its principal means of cultivating its oneness 
with Christ. The Bishop enjoined the clergy to follow 
the services as they were set down in the Prayer Book, 
and warned them that they would gain nothing, but 
rather would injure the church by seeking to make their 
services more attractive through short cuts or innova- 

In a Pastoral Letter to the clergy and laity of the Dio- 
cese, Bishop Cheshire further developed the subject of 
public worship and the use of the Prayer Book. He gave 
much sound instruction as to how the minister and con- 
gregation should conduct themselves in any of the 
church's services, particularly emphasizing the impor- 
tance of correct kneeling and audible and intelligent re- 
sponses. He stressed the value which the clergy and laity 
would receive from a regular observance of the feast 
days and fast days. The Bishop expressed his strong dis- 
approval of decorating the church for any purpose other 
than "for God's honor." The sacred character of the 
church should not be sacrificed to gratify the vanity of 

First Years in the Episcopacy 7 3 

men and women. He referred particularly to the extrava- 
gant excesses often indulged in when decorating the 
church for weddings. 

This Pastoral Letter is just as applicable to churchmen 
today and is worthy of as much consideration from them 
as when it was first issued in 1 9 1 2 . It would be of great 
value to them to hear it read annually in the churches 
of the Diocese. 

Bishop Cheshire never went to extremes in anything. 
In spiritual as well as in material matters he believed in 
preserving a sense of proportion. He advised his clergy 
to use practical judgment in the observance of Lenten 
services. Very few clergymen were capable of preaching 
good sermons for forty or more consecutive days and, 
in his opinion, few congregations desired them. Even 
in those cases where a preaching Lent had been success- 
ful, he thought that a change would have a salutary effect 
upon the people. 

On the subject of church music he tried to preserve 
an equilibrium of opinion. The Bishop was very fond of 
good ecclesiastical music and thoroughly enjoyed singing 
himself. While his standards of church music were high, 
he did not at all approve of too elaborate arrangements of 
the old chants and hymns. He wanted them sung prop- 
erly, but also in such a way that at least a part of the 
congregation would be able to join in with the choir. On 
several occasions he was known to have stopped the 
organist and choir in the middle of a hymn or chant be- 
cause the tune was either too difficult or too decorative. 

Bishop Cheshire's interest in domestic missionary 
work was by no means limited to the zeal which he had 
displayed when working in the mountains of North Car- 
ohna. In his report on missionary work to the convention 

74 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

of 1898, he made a strong appeal for domestic missions 
and missionaries. He called to the attention of the con- 
vention the fact that the growth of the church in the 
Diocese was chiefly through its missions. Since there were 
no large city parishes, its strength lay in the towns, vil- 
lages, and country districts. "In these," said he, "has been 
our growth, and in these is our hope and strength for the 
future." The missionary clergymen had presented for 
confirmation during the past year more than half of the 
total number of persons confirmed. He concluded these 
remarks with an urgent plea for adequate salaries for the 

Up to 1 90 1 the administration of the diocesan missions 
was in the hands of the Bishop and the Executive Mis- 
sionary Committee of the convention. Bishop Cheshire 
reported that under this system the missionary work 
usually showed an annual deficit of from four to five 
hundred dollars, even after he had used funds for it which 
should have been reserved for special work. With the 
advice and approbation of Bishop Cheshire, the conven- 
tion of 1 90 1 divided the missionary work of the Diocese 
into three divisions— the Convocation of Raleigh, the 
Convocation of Charlotte, and the Convocation for Col- 
ored Work. These convocations, each with an archdeacon 
at its head, were given full control of diocesan missions. 
The archdeacons, under the supervision of the bishop, 
had the direction and control of the missionaries in their 
respective convocations. Under this new organization 
the diocesan missions progressed steadily, and the treas- 
urers of the convocations seldom reported a deficit. Some 
fifteen years after this plan was inaugurated. Bishop 
Cheshire declared that the missionary work had been 

First Years in the Episcopacy 7 5 

"prosecuted with greater vigor and system than ever be- 
fore in my knowledge of the Diocese." 

At the close of the first decade of Bishop Cheshire's 
episcopate, a large number of clergy and laity gathered 
at Good Shepherd Church, Raleigh, on the evening of 
October 14, 1903, to celebrate the occasion. At this serv- 
ice the Bishop made an address in which he reviewed his 
work for the period. During the decade he had held more 
than 4,000 services, preached 1,400 sermons, delivered 
500 addresses, confirmed 4,400 persons, consecrated 27 
churches and chapels, and ordained 27 clergymen. To 
him the greatest achievement of the past ten years was 
the acquisition of St. Mary's and its establishment as the 
church school of all the Carolina dioceses. In 1897 his 
Diocese had assumed in behalf of St. Mary's an obliga- 
tion of fifty thousand dollars to be paid in twenty years. 
At the end of six years only eighteen thousand dollars of 
the debt remained, and in addition ten thousand dollars 
had been spent upon permanent equipment for the school. 
Since the Diocese took over St. Mary's, the number of 
boarding pupils had increased threefold. In conclusion, 
he declared that they should not look too much to the 
past but should press on to the future with the work of 
the church. 

Representatives of the clergy and laity congratulated 
the Bishop upon his tenth anniversary, pledging their 
loyalty and devotion to him, and expressing the appre- 
ciation of their respective bodies for his splendid work. 
Mr. Richard H. Battle, in behalf of a number of the 
Bishop's friends, presented him with a beautiful pectoral 
cross and a silk cassock. In acknowledging the kind ex- 
pressions and gifts, the Bishop remarked: "I have one 

76 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

single desire, it is to serve God in this Diocese. It was 
the interest that I took in the work here that brought me 
into the ministry, and I have no desire to labor elsewhere. 
I love my people, and I appreciate the kindness, sym- 
pathy and aid that has been given me. . . ." ^^ 

The following day the colored clergy and laity hon- 
ored the Bishop in a service at St. Ambrose Church, Ral- 
eigh. Resolutions expressing the confidence and affection 
of the colored churchmen were presented to Bishop 
Cheshire by Rev. Henry B. Delany. Rev. Primus P. 
Alston, on behalf of the colored clergy, gave the Bishop 
a handsome stole, accompanying it with an address ex- 
pressing the gratitude of the colored people for his work 
among them. Afterwards, the Bishop observed that noth- 
ing during the past ten years had been more gratifying 
to him than "the unvarying respect, courtesy and loyal 
support" which he had received at the hands of his col- 
ored clergy and laity. 


Man ajid Bishop 

In addition to his accomplishments as a clergyman, prel- 
ate, and scholar, Bishop Cheshire attained considerable 
skill and reputation as a sportsman. Fishing and hunting 
were the sports he liked best and the only ones he in- 
dulged in. He once remarked that he had been fond of 
fishing from his boyhood, but he thought his liking for it 
increased with age. His prowess as a fisherman was well 
known to his churchmen from the coast to the mountains 
of North Carolina. During the 1890's, when he was 
building up his mountain work, he would sometimes 
allow himself a few hours of relaxation to fish for the fine 
trout in the cold mountain streams. As a good fisherman 
should, he always carried his tackle with him when trav- 
eling near promising streams. In later years, whenever he 
had the opportunity, he returned to the mountains for a 
brief vacation of fishing. 

On one of these trips, accompanied by his son, Joseph 
B. Cheshire, Jr., he was fishing in the Watauga River. 
When they came to a ford, the Bishop recalled that he 
had an old friend, Bill Holler, living a short distance 
away, whom he would like very much to see. Accord- 


78 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

ingly, they walked up the road about a half mile. Paus- 
ing at the foot of a mountainside, the Bishop asked his 
son to climb up and tell Mr. Holler that an old friend 
wanted to see him, but not to mention his name. Shortly 
afterwards, his son returned accompanied by a little old 
man, with long white hair and beard and a pleasant, 
wrinkled face. As soon as the old man saw his visitor, his 
face lit up with a smile, he threw open his arms, rushed 
up to the Bishop, and embraced him, crying: "Lord! It's 
the old Bishop, the old Bishop, the old Bishop!" 

The Bishop's fondness for hunting was almost as great 
as that for fishing. He began hunting in early boyhood 
but, according to his own statement, he never became a 
good shot. Many of his hunting companions, however, 
would undoubtedly contest the point. Among the people 
of his Diocese he was famous for his skill in wild turkey 
hunting. Strange as it may seem, he did not kill a wild 
turkey until he was sixty-four years old. Up to that time 
he had hunted partridges a great deal, but as he grew 
older, he had to give it up because it required so much 
walking. Hunting wild turkeys, although strenuous 
enough, was better suited to his years. After his first kill, 
scarcely a season passed that he did not bag at least one 
turkey. As the Bishop's enthusiasm for this sport grew, 
he made an interesting collection of turkey calls. They 
ranged from several varieties made from the wing bone 
of the turkey to the box type, which was usually made 
of cedar. 

Less than a month before his death Bishop Cheshire 
went turkey hunting in the Roanoke River swamp, near 
Scotland Neck. On this occasion, at the age of eighty- 
two, he killed a fine gobbler. About a week later he was 
to go to St. Stephen's Church, Oxford, for a visitation 

Bishop Cheshire fishing in the French Broad River, Septe^uher, 1^12. 

Photoiiiiiph by Bayard ll'<'<-IU-n 

The FLvker-CbcsbirL' House in Tarboro, birthplace of Bisl?op Cheshire. The house -icas 
built by Theophilus Parker, the Bishop's ;rra/!t.ifather. 

Man and Bishop 79 

and planned while there to go turkey shooting with his 
friend, Rev. Reuben Meredith, rector of the church. His 
son Godfrey was to join them for the hunt on Monday. 
A few days before leaving home, however, he did not 
feel at all well and, after consulting his physician, in- 
formed his daughter. Miss Sarah Cheshire, he would give 
up the hunt. But by Saturday the Bishop was feeling so 
much better that on his way to Oxford he wrote his 
daughter the following letter: 

"Dear Sarah: 

When Godfrey comes to Oxford tomorrow have him 
bring my gun and the bag in which I keep my hunt- 
ing clothes and turkey calls. I am going turkey hunting 
on Monday. 

'When the devil was sick the devil a monk would be, 
When the devil was well the devil a monk was he.' 

Your affectionate father, 
Joseph Blount Cheshire" 

Bishop Cheshire had an enviable reputation throughout 
the state as a raconteur of rare charm. Some of his best 
stories came from his fishing and hunting experiences, 
but they covered many other subjects as well. Most of 
his best anecdotes of personalities and events in North 
Carolina history are found in his book Nonnulla. It was 
not always the content of his stories which caught and 
held the interest of his listeners, but quite as often the 
manner in which the Bishop told them. For this reason 
they sometimes lose their color and charm when read or 
repeated by someone else. When he told an amusing 
story, which he often did, one of its best features was his 

8o Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

own enjoyment in the telling and his hearty, contagious 
laughter. Another characteristic of the Bishop's stories 
was the natural way they appeared in his conversation, 
usually graphically illustrating or emphasizing a point. 
He never dragged a story into his conversation merely 
for the pleasure of telling it. 

As a conversationalist, however, he did not depend 
upon his ability to tell a good story. He could talk inter- 
estingly to persons from any walk of life, seeming always 
to know just the right thing to say to each. He never flat- 
tered, but gave freely his candid opinion whenever re- 
quested. Although he talked a great deal himself, the 
Bishop made his listener feel that he was interested in his 
ideas and wanted to hear them. 

In his role as a preacher of sermons Bishop Cheshire 
did not resemble his modem prototype, who quite often 
is more of a brilhant lecturer than a preacher. The Bishop 
employed no oratory in his sermons, but preached very 
much as if he were talking to a group of friends. He 
took a text from the Bible, most frequently from the 
New Testament, and proceeded to expound and inter- 
pret it, seldom using stories or anecdotes to illustrate his 
ideas. They were unadorned, straightforward expositions 
of religious truth. Of his sermons, the Bishop remarked 
to one of his clergymen, "Because a man is not converted 
to Christ through my teaching and preaching, I do not 
on that account conclude that he has rejected Christ; 
he has only rejected my representation of Christ." 

Dr. Robert B. Drane, for more than fifty years rector 
of St. Paul's Church, Edenton, once wrote of a rather 
typical reaction to the Bishop's sermons. He invited a 
man, who scarcely ever came to church, to come to 
St. Paul's to hear Bishop Cheshire. The man said he 

Man and Bishop 8 1 

would be glad to, that he had heard the Bishop preach 
several times, and that he "always talked sense," Dr. 
Drane remarked that if the thousands of persons who be- 
longed to no church could be made to realize that 
"preachers did really talk sense," the membership of the 
churches would increase and religion would be more 

While not meaning to belittle the value of sermons, 
Bishop Cheshire sincerely felt that the prayers, responses, 
chants, and hymns of the church's service, climaxed by 
the supreme act of Christian worship, the celebration of 
the Holy Communion, held a greater significance for 
mankind and better satisfied spiritual needs. 

Bishop Cheshire's interest and activities extended to 
all phases of the church's life in his Diocese. There was 
scarcely any work or endeavor of his people too small to 
attract his attention. He often remarked that it is "the 
little things that count." It was his capacity to under- 
stand and sympathize with the everyday problems of his 
people that so greatly endeared him to them. Although 
the Bishop never in any way permitted himself or his 
clergy to become involved in controversial political af- 
fairs, he displayed at all times a vital interest in the social 
problems of his state. When he felt it to be the duty 
of the church to take a positive stand on a social ques- 
tion, he did not hesitate to make clear her position and 
to take what action he believed best suited to the occa- 

The increasing number of divorces in North Carolina 
and the growing laxity of the laws on that subject was 
a problem which gave the Bishop much concern. In 
1904 he called the matter to the attention of his diocesan 
convention and suggested a remedy for the situation. 

82 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

The Bishop asserted that there had been sufficient talk 
and theorizing upon the divorce question and that now 
was the time for positive action. The apathy of the pub- 
lic conscience, which had permitted the divorce law 
to be greatly modified, was, in his opinion, the cause 
of the divorce evil. Bishop Cheshire believed there was 
only one true reason for divorce: adultery. For many 
years it had been the only cause recognized by the state 
law, but in recent years frequent changes in the law to 
meet individual cases had created an unjustifiable condi- 
tion. Not one of these modifications of the law had been 
adopted upon "any general principle of morals or of 
social science." 

The Bishop called upon the convention to express its 
condemnation of the present legislation on the divorce 
question, and to issue an address to the people of the 
state urging the necessity of reforming the divorce laws. 
He also suggested that the convention appoint a com- 
mittee to communicate with the other Christian bodies 
of the state in order to secure united action on the sub- 
ject. After serious deliberation, the convention indorsed 
the Bishop's position. It authorized him to appoint a 
committee, of which he should be chairman, to publish 
an address to the people of the state expressing the senti- 
ment of the Episcopal Church on the divorce question; 
and to prepare a memorial to the General Assembly re- 
questing that the divorce laws be restored to the status 
of the code of 1883. The convention sent a request to 
the Diocese of East Carolina, the Jurisdiction of Ashe- 
ville, and all the other denominations of the state to 
join in this memorial. 

Bishop Cheshire lost no time in forwarding to every 
church conference or synod, meeting prior to January, 

Man and Bishop 8 3 

1905, the resolutions of his diocesan convention. Favor- 
able action was taken on the resolutions by the Presby- 
terian, Methodist, Baptist, and Methodist Protestant 
churches. The Bishop attended the Presbyterian Synod 
and the Conference of the Methodist Church, and was 
cordially received. 

When the General Assembly met in 1905, Governor 
Robert B. Glenn recommended that the divorce laws be 
restored to the form as found in the code of 1883. After 
a close consideration of the memorial of the North 
Carolina churches, the legislature enacted a law which 
embodied in substance the request of the memorialists. 

Bishop Cheshire once more concerned himself with 
the divorce problem when the legislature of 193 1 was 
considering several bills for modifying the conditions for 
granting divorces. At the time the bills were under dis- 
cussion he was visiting his daughter in Louisiana. In 
order to place his views on the subject before the legis- 
lature, the Bishop addressed a letter to the chairman of 
the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representa- 
tives. It was published in the Neivs and Observer of 
February 12. 

He again attacked the practice of enacting special 
laws for particular persons, and asserted that in some 
incidents the laws were unconstitutional. He reviewed 
the efforts which he and many other citizens had made 
about twenty-five years before to restrict the causes for 
granting divorce. With public opinion behind them, their 
efforts had been successful, but since that time many of 
the old abuses had reappeared. The Bishop declared that 
from his knowledge of public opinion in North Carolina, 
sentiment against relaxing the divorce laws was as strong 
then as it had been twenty-five years before. In his letter 

84 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

he confined himself to one principal idea, "the will of 
the people of the State against personal influence in be- 
half of individual parties," believing that it would pro- 
duce a greater effect than if he merely reiterated the 
usual moral and social arguments. 

It cannot be said with certainty how much effect the 
Bishop's letter had on the members of the legislature, 
but coming from a man whose character and opinions 
were held in such high regard by North Carolinians, it 
must have had some influence upon the outcome. The 
proposed measures were defeated by large majorities in 
the General Assembly. 

On one of the most controversial questions of the 
twentieth century, national prohibition. Bishop Cheshire 
held very definite views. He believed that each state 
should be allowed to decide the question for itself, and 
that a federal prohibition law would breed more evil 
than good. 

Several years before the passage of the national pro- 
hibition law. Bishop Cheshire attended a meeting in 
Raleigh which was considering various aspects of social 
welfare work. He was present as an invited guest. The 
business of the meeting was moving along smoothly, 
when someone introduced a resolution to the effect that 
the meeting should memorialize Congress with a demand 
that the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages be 
made illegal in the United States. The resolution was 
received with much enthusiasm. Many speeches were 
made advocating its passage and all were applauded. 
After the enthusiasm had somewhat subsided and the 
question was about to be put. Bishop Cheshire asked per- 
mission to say a few words. He stated that he deplored 
excessive drinking and its evil consequences, suffered 

Man ajid Bishop 85 

as much if not more by the innocent as well as the 
drinker. He sympathized with the purpose of the reso- 
lution to achieve more widespread temperance, but, he 
reminded them, good intentions unless inteUigently di- 
rected often did more harm than good. Under the Amer- 
ican system each state or community had the authority 
to outlaw liquor, as had already been done in North 
Carolina. So long as the prohibition of liquor was con- 
fined to those states whose public opinion was behind 
it, he beheved it could be enforced. He did not think, 
however, that a federal law could be enforced in those 
states where public opinion and the state authorities were 
in opposition. He maintained that what had already been 
accomplished in some states in behalf of temperance 
would be jeopardized if an attempt was made to impose 
prohibition upon those states which were not yet ready 
for it. 

Upon the conclusion of the Bishop's remarks, there 
was for a few moments complete silence. It was as if 
someone had thrown cold water over the entire meeting. 
When a member moved that the resolution be laid on 
the table, not a voice was raised in opposition to the 
motion, and the subject was dropped. The Bishop was 
never one to allow his intelligence to be overruled by 
emotionalism, and in stating his views on national pro- 
hibition he not only displayed his sound judgment but 
also proved himself a very good prophet. 

Bishop Cheshire exercised a remarkable influence upon 
the people of his Diocese. One aspect of the effect of his 
character upon them is seen in the ready co-operation 
and assistance they gave him in his work for the church. 
The inspiration they caught from him was not a transient 
enthusiasm, but one which carried over from one en- 

86 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

deavor to another. Above all, the Episcopalians of the 
Diocese loved their Bishop as a man— a vital, interesting 
personality who possessed none of the unctuous pom- 
pousness of the commonplace ecclesiastic. Miss Nell 
Battle Lewis once aptly characterized the Bishop as 
"much more than a Churchman, able Churchman though 
he is. Foremost, he is a man— a gentleman— of the most 
unswerving honesty, conviction, courage, kindness, hu- 
mor, and charm." ^ 

Throughout almost all of his Episcopate Bishop Chesh- 
ire had no secretary. By choice he attended to his cor- 
respondence himself, writing all of his letters in long- 
hand. Towards the end of his life he employed a secretary 
for a short time, but soon found that he preferred to do 
the work himself. He kept letter-books in which he en- 
tered a record of every letter he wrote, giving the name 
of the person written to, the date, and the place he was 
writing from. According to his own records, he wrote 
during his Episcopate 66,778 letters. The Bishop never 
liked any help in doing something which he felt he was 
able to do for himself. 

As a father Bishop Cheshire won the admiration of 
everyone who knew him. Each of his three daughters 
and three sons gave him their wholehearted love, obedi- 
ence, and respect throughout his lifetime. He gained and 
held their devotion by his kindness, intelligence, and 
sympathetic understanding. He was a strict disciplinar- 
ian, but always preserved a tolerant and open-minded 
attitude towards the desires and weaknesses of youth. 
He treated his sons as men and expected them to act the 

The Bishop gave his children all the advantages he 
could afford. Two of his sons were educated at the 

Man a7id Bishop 87 

University of North Carolina, and the third attended 
the University of the South. His three daughters all went 
to St. Mary's School. When one of his sons was leaving 
home to enter college, the Bishop told him that he 
would not ask him to promise to refrain from forming 
bad habits at school, such as drinking and gambling, nor 
would he accept such a promise if his son offered it. He 
went on to say that he had tried to teach him right from 
wrong and that his son well knew what things he could 
do that would make his father happy and proud and 
those which would make him unhappy and ashamed. 
He wanted his son to conduct himself as a gentleman, 
not because of any promises made, but for the sake of 
decency. The Bishop asked him to remember that he 
would always stand up for him as long as he was in 
the right, but he would not defend him for a moment 
if he were ever guilty of misconduct. This straightfor- 
ward, manly counsel made a lasting impression upon the 
son. It was typical of the Bishop's uncompromising and 
practical way of thinking on moral questions. 



From his youth Bishop Cheshire had been fond of his- 
tory, and as he grew older, his interest in it developed 
into a serious avocation. While practicing law in Tar- 
boro, he saw a good deal of his uncle-in-law, ex-Gov- 
ernor Henry Clark, who had a decided taste for history. 
He had an excellent library to which he made his nephew 
welcome. Cheshire spent many happy hours browsing 
among the old books and manuscripts and listening to 
the conversation of his uncle. Governor Clark had a 
thorough acquaintance with the early history of North 
Carolina, particularly that of his own section. In later 
years Bishop Cheshire said of his uncle: "I have often 
felt that he had a greater influence than any other per- 
son in developing my tastes and inclinations in the direc- 
tion of historical inquiry." -^ 

For his first serious historical composition Cheshire 
chose a subject with which he was intimately acquainted, 
the history of the church in Edgecombe County. In a 
series of articles, under the title, "An Historical Sketch 
of the Church in Edgecombe County, North Carolina," 
which appeared in the Church Messenger from August 


Historian 89 

17 through September 21, 1880, he traced the history 
of this parish from the colonial period through the rec- 
torate of his father. The sketch is superior to the usual 
parish history in that it concerned itself with the growth 
and development of the church in Edgecombe rather 
than with the genealogy of the famiHes in that county. 

When Colonel William L. Saunders was in the proc- 
ess of compiling the Colonial Records of North Caro- 
lina, he asked Cheshire to make a collection of documents 
relating to the colonial Episcopal Church. Cheshire se- 
cured from Bishop Perry of Iowa, Historiographer of 
the Episcopal Church, a large body of material, which 
he had copied under his personal supervision. Colonel 
Saunders found the material so interesting and valuable 
that he incorporated it in its entirety in the several vol- 
umes of the Colonial Records. In appreciation of his con- 
tribution Cheshire was given a full set of this work. 
In 1893 Judge Walter Clark, when he began to edit the 
State Records of North Carolina, wrote Bishop Cheshire: 
"I beg that you will aid me with your advice, sugges- 
tions and information as to what should be published 
and the best means of procuring materials." ^ This state- 
ment well illustrates the high regard in which the Bish- 
op's historical acumen was generally held. 

In 1883, in the course of collecting materials for 
Colonel Saunders, Cheshire visited Philadelphia. While 
there he examined the records of the Pennsylvania Quak- 
ers for information concerning the early Quaker settle- 
ments in North Carolina. From his examination of these 
records he found sufficient evidence to disprove the long- 
held thesis that the early settlers of North Carolina were 
religious refugees from New England and Virginia. His 
conclusion was that the first settlers of the Albemarle 

90 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

section came there primarily for economic reasons and 
not for religious freedom. He embodied his findings in a 
pamphlet called "The First Settlers of North Carolina 
Not Religious Refugees." After reading the monograph, 
Colonel Saunders wrote Cheshire: "You have not only 
proved your proposition; You have dejnonstrated itT ^ 
Saunders adopted the same interpretation in his preface 
to the first volume of the Colonial Records. Cheshire's 
original thesis was further expanded and substantiated 
by future historians of the state. 

In 1882 Cheshire edited and published the documents 
relating to the four conventions, held between 1790 and 
1794, which had made the abortive attempt to set up a 
diocesan organization in North Carolina. The documents 
of three of these conventions had never been published 
before. They threw much light upon an important phase 
of the early history of the Episcopal Church in North 

The Diocese recognized Cheshire's ability as an histo- 
rian by electing him historiographer at the convention of 
1884. The convention of 1876 had created this ofiice, 
and had elected Dr. M. M. Marshall, Rector of Christ 
Church, Raleigh, the first historiographer. It had also 
passed a resolution requiring each clergyman to compile 
a history of his parish. When Cheshire became historiog- 
rapher eight years later, only a few of the clergy had 
complied with the resolution. After examining the his- 
tories which had been written, he found that, with a few 
exceptions, they were of no value. Several months after 
his election, in an article for the Church Messenger, he 
stressed the importance of preserving local church his- 
tory. He announced that he was making a collection of 
old documents and pamphlets on church history for the 

Historian 9 1 

Diocese, and he requested anyone possessing these mate- 
rials to send them to him. One of Cheshire's chief con- 
tributions as historiographer was the interest he aroused 
among the churchmen in the history of the church and of 
their respective parishes. 

The pubhcation of the Colonial Records of North 
Carolina further stimulated his interest in historical re- 
search. He planned and began to write the "Annals of 
the Church in the Province of North Carolina." He 
worked upon this history whenever he found an oppor- 
tunity, but after his election as bishop his duties were 
so pressing that he had to abandon the project. He had 
made considerable progress, however, before laying it 
aside. His research was not done in vain, for he was able 
to use much of it in one of the papers he presented be- 
fore the centennial convention of the dioceses of East 
Carolina and North Carolina in 1890. 

Probably Cheshire's most productive act as historiog- 
rapher of the Diocese was to initiate and successfully 
direct the celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary 
of the convention of 1790. This convention, held in Tar- 
boro, had made the first, although unsuccessful, attempt 
to form a diocese in North Carolina. As the centennial 
of the event drew near, Cheshire thought that it should 
be commemorated in some appropriate manner. Accord- 
ingly, at the diocesan convention of 1889 he introduced 
a series of resolutions calling for a joint convention of 
the dioceses of North Carolina and East Carolina to be 
held at Tarboro the following year. The resolutions were 
adopted and a committee on arrangements appointed, 
with Dr. Jarvis Buxton as chairman. Commenting on the 
proceedings, Cheshire frankly remarked: "I took care, 
however, to get myself elected Secretary of the Com- 

92 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

mittee; and the Committee cheerfully allowed me to do 
all the work." * 

The Committee on Arrangements decided that the 
most fitting and profitable manner of celebrating the 
occasion would be to present a series of papers on the 
history of the Episcopal Church in North Carolina. 
Cheshire organized the program, selecting the writers 
and the subjects of the papers. 

The joint convention met in Tarboro May 16-18, 
1890, and was well attended by churchmen from both 
dioceses. The papers covered the history of the church 
in the colony, its decay following the Revolution, and 
its revival after 18 17. Cheshire read a paper on "The 
Church in the Province of North Carolina." At the 
close of the proceedings, the convention resolved that 
the addresses should be published in book form under 
Cheshire's editorial direction. Upon the motion of the 
Rev. Robert Strange, it was also resolved: "That the 
thanks of the joint Convention of North and East Caro- 
lina be extended to the Rev. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., for con- 
ceiving and carrying to so successful an issue the re- 
union which has been so delightful and edifying to us 

Since there was not sufficient time, all of the addresses 
prepared for the joint convention were not delivered. 
In addition to the paper Cheshire read, he also wrote 
two others— "Decay and Revival, 1 800-1 830" and 
"White Haven Church and the Rev. Robert Johnston 
Miller." These papers, as well as all the others written 
for the centennial celebration, were published in a vol- 
ume entitled Sketches of Church History in North Caro- 
lina. Besides the three papers and his editorial work, 
Cheshire wrote the introduction to this book. The vol- 

Historian 93 

ume is a distinct contribution to the history of the Epis- 
copal Church in North CaroHna. Prior to this time Httle 
of any value had been written on the subject. Cheshire's 
articles are probably more scholarly than any of the 
others, and they definitely reveal more research in orig- 
inal sources. 

In recognition of Cheshire's achievements as a clergy- 
man and his contributions as a historian, the University 
of North Carolina at its commencement of 1890 con- 
ferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. Four 
years later the University of the South bestowed upon 
him the same honor, and in 1 9 1 6 his alma mater, Trinity 
College, Hartford, Connecticut, also gave him the degree 
of Doctor of Divinity. He was not one to seek honors, 
but when they were conferred upon him he appreciated 
them, particularly the thought which motivated the be- 
stowal. Bishop Cheshire became an honorary member of 
the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati in 1897 
and a few years later an hereditary member. He served 
for a time as chaplain of the North Carolina Society 
and later of the national organization. 

Although his diocesan work occupied most of his 
time, the Bishop found the opportunity now and again 
throughout his episcopate to write articles for ecclesias- 
tical and historical publications. The subject matter of 
most of his writings was drawn chiefly from North Caro- 
lina history. One of his most interesting departures from 
this practice was the editing of George Herbert's A 
Priest to the Temple or, the Country Parson, His Char- 
acter and Rule of Holy Life. This work, first published 
in 1652, had attracted his attention when he was a young 
lawyer in Baltimore. He was greatly impressed at the 
time with its earnestness and its spiritual character. When 

94 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

in 1905 Professor Palmer, of Harvard University, edited 
the complete works of Herbert, the Country Parson was 
again brought to the Bishop's attention. He decided to 
bring out a special edition of the Country Parson in 
order to make it available to all of the clergy. The work 
appeared in 1908 and was dedicated to his father, whose 
sixty years in the ministry splendidly illustrated Her- 
bert's ideal of a country parson. In his introduction to 
the book Bishop Cheshire commented: "It is not too 
much to say of it that for beauty and truth to nature, 
for its combination of the ideal and the practical, for 
its presentation of an almost heavenly perfection in 
terms of human experience, it has not its equal in the 
religious literature of our language." Whenever sending 
out a young clergyman as a country parson, he always 
tried to supply him with a copy of this work, believing 
that it would be of great value to him and his parish- 

At the request of the editor of the Carolina Churchman 
Bishop Cheshire wrote, in 1910-1911, a sketch of the 
life of each of his predecessors, Bishops Ravenscroft, 
Ives, Atkinson, and Lyman. He did not make the 
sketches serious biographical studies, but tried to present 
intimate pictures of the four bishops, including a few 
amusing anecdotes. The sketch of Bishop Ravenscroft 
is probably the best and the most interesting. 

In the course of 19 10 and 191 1, at the invitation of the 
Episcopal seminaries at Sewanee, Alexandria, New York, 
Philadelphia, Cambridge, and Middletown, Bishop Chesh- 
ire delivered a series of lectures on the history of the 
Episcopal Church in the Confederate States. The lec- 
tures were well received, and upon their conclusion the 
Bishop was urged to put them in permanent form. Real- 

Historian 95 

izing that the interest in the subject was fairly wide- 
spread, he decided to arrange the lectures for publica- 
tion. In 191 2 Longmans, Green, and Company published 
them under the title, The Church in the Confederate 

In this work the Bishop describes the organization of 
the Episcopal Church in the Confederacy, the church's 
work among the soldiers, its attitude towards the Ne- 
groes, its trials and burdens, its publications, and, finally, 
the reunion of the northern and southern branches of 
the church. Following the last chapter he included a 
brief study of the life of Thomas Atkinson, Bishop of 
North Carolina, 185 3-1 881, who had been one of the 
most important exponents of the reunion of the church 
in 1865. 

In general, the critics praised the Bishop's work as a 
significant contribution. Of it the Outlook remarked: 
"His account of the attitude of the Church in its politi- 
cal relations throughout those sad and trying times is 
free from any tinge of bitterness. Its narrative of the 
work of bishops and councils, and of the ministries of 
the church to the soldiers and to the slaves, deserves to 
be widely read for the little-known facts it records." 
The Churchman, of New York, declared: "The temper 
of Bishop Cheshire's narrative is admirable, his account of 
perplexing constitutional questions that arose from the re- 
lations of the Church to the Confederacy and to the Union 
is clear, his analysis of the issues is penetrating and acute, 
his conclusions will be generally accepted." The church 
periodicals. North and South, were unanimous in their 
praise of the Bishop's work. They felt he had done the 
American Episcopal Church a great service in preserving 
this phase of her history. The Church Tiines, of London, 

g6 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

thought that while the book was interesting and informa- 
tive, it was not fair to the northern church. Many of 
the reviewers considered the last chapter of the work, 
which discussed the reunion of the church in 1865, the 
most interesting and significant. The Bishop was able 
to write of this particular subject with intimacy, since 
his father had taken an active part in the reunion. 

The Church in the Confederate States is Bishop Chesh- 
ire's most important historical contribution. In it his 
style is direct, simple, and restrained. It describes and 
interprets a phase of Civil War history which had never 
before been adequately treated, and since its publication 
no work on the subject has superseded it. For his in- 
formation Bishop Cheshire relied almost entirely upon 
original sources. Some of the more personal incidents, 
however, were gained from actual participants in that 
stormy period. 

On one of his visitations to Milnor Jones' missions in 
Watauga County, Bishop Cheshire told Jones that if he 
should outlive him he would see that some recognition 
was made of Jones' work. Many years later the Bishop 
fulfilled his promise by writing the volume, Milnor 
Jones, Deacon and Missionary . The greater part of this 
biography is devoted to the years 1 894-1 897, which 
Jones spent in the mountains of North Carolina. It is 
an interesting picture of that most unique character, and 
a good description of both the difficult and sometimes 
amusing sides of missionary work in the mountains. Al- 
though the Bishop liked and admired Jones, he did not 
fail to bring out his faults as well as his many virtues. 

Bishop Cheshire's last important literary work * was 

* For a complete list of the Bishop's published writings, see pp. 

Historian 97 

his reminiscences of personalities and incidents in North 
Carolina history. He gave these memories the title Non- 
rmlla, meaning "Not Nothings." The Bishop began this 
book on his seventy-fifth birthday, and completed it 
five years later. He included in it stories and anecdotes 
about people and places not customarily found in the 
serious histories, but which are not entirely without sig- 
nificance "as illustrating, in an informal and familiar 
way, the life of our State and our people." Nonnulla 
is replete with human interest to North Carolinians, and 
contributes much to their understanding of some of the 
characters who helped to build their state. 

In recognition of Bishop Cheshire's contributions to 
North Carolina history, the State Literary and Historical 
Association elected him its president for 193 1. In his 
presidential address the Bishop discussed the religious 
provisions of the Fundamental Constitutions prepared by 
John Locke for the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. Al- 
though Locke's document was never put into effect, its 
provisions for religious freedom, in the Bishop's opinion, 
"perhaps found lodgment in the life of the people and 
attained a better development in their subsequent his- 
tory." ^ While the Church of England was made the 
established church of the colony, liberty of conscience 
was permitted to all except atheists. Elaborating upon 
the theme of religious freedom, he demonstrated that 
the colonial government did not practice religious in- 
tolerance even though laws were enacted for the support 
of an established church. 

With his presidential address to the State Literary and 
Historical Association, Bishop Cheshire concluded his 
work as an historian. It was a fitting close to this phase 
of his life. Although history had been to him a pleasant 

98 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

avocation, no professional historian ever took his work 
more seriously or had a higher ideal of historical accu- 
racy. In the words of Dr. A. R. Newsome, of the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina, "Native ability, industry and 
self-discipline enabled him to achieve a degree of histori- 
cal scholarship seldom encountered among laymen." The 
Episcopal Church in North Carolina owes him a debt 
of lasting gratitude for his pioneer work in its history. 


Work Among the Colored People 

Bishop Cheshire's active interest in the church's work 
among the Negroes began when he was rector of St. 
Peter's Church, Charlotte. His organization of the col- 
ored mission of St. Michael and All Angels and the part 
he took in helping to establish the Good Samaritan Hos- 
pital have already been related. When he became bishop 
he continued and greatly enlarged his activities in behalf 
of the Negro work. 

In the early part of his episcopate the Bishop made an 
address to the Conference of Church Workers Among 
Colored People, in which he expressed some interesting 
ideas on the colored work. He first pointed out that the 
reconstruction acts had failed to accomplish for the 
Negro many of their designed objectives. Although those 
acts were for the most part of a purely political charac- 
ter, he realized many sincere people in the North had ad- 
vocated them in the belief that they would help the 
Negro. In his opinion, the legislation of the reconstruc- 
tion period had not accomplished for the colored people 
what its sincerest advocates had confidently expected. If 
the Negroes are to play a significant role in the future of 


I oo Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

this country, the Bishop declared, "it will be only be- 
cause they shall have become fitted for that part. No 
theories of predominant political equality will avail for 
preserving privileges which are not exercised for the 
benefit of the community. ..." He believed that the dis- 
abilities of the Negro could not be removed, nor the 
disadvantages under which he worked conquered, by 
legislation against particular evils, "but simply by chang- 
ing the actual conditions of the race itself." Those who 
are interested in the welfare of the Negro must work for 
the elevation of his ideals of living, of working, and of 
self-restraint. The Bishop emphasized the importance of 
developing a spirit of self-reliance and self-help among 
the colored clergy and laity, believing this to be the best 
means by which they could strengthen their economic 
and social position. 

The colored churchmen of the Diocese soon learned 
that in Bishop Cheshire they had a staunch friend and 
one from whom they could count upon receiving a fair 
and sympathetic hearing. He reciprocated this confi- 
dence with a like faith in them. It was a regular practice 
of the Bishop to attend only the first day's session of the 
annual meetings of the white and colored convocations. 
He did this in order to give the clergy an opportunity 
of "speaking their mind freely." He always remembered 
an observation of George Eliot that "the first thing the 
clergy do, when they get together in convocation, is to 
abuse the Bishop." In this connection Bishop Cheshire 
once remarked: "I do not know what the white clergy 
may do, but I do not believe my black clergy will have 
anything to say against me even in my absence." ^ 

At the opening of the twentieth century one of the 
most important questions facing the Episcopal Church in 

Work Among the Colored People i o i 

the South was the separation of the Negro work in each 
diocese from that of the white. Bishop Cheshire was 
strongly opposed to any separation of the church's work 
founded solely on the racial feeling. He disliked to see 
the unity of the Diocese disrupted, and beheved the ideal 
situation was "a church and a diocese which in its annual 
gatherings should represent visibly the oneness of all 
races and colors in Christ." " He realized, however, that 
he could not be guided entirely by his personal feelings 
on a question of such importance. A large body of the 
Negro clergy and many white churchmen throughout 
the South felt that the welfare of the church demanded 
some sort of separate organization for the colored work. 
When he met his diocesan convention in the spring of 
1907, Bishop Cheshire announced his position on this ques- 
tion. Since the colored people seemed to desire an organ- 
ization of their own, he believed the time had come for 
the church to take some definite action. He asked the 
convention to make known its views on the question of 
separation, since it would come up for discussion in the 
General Convention that fall. The Bishop stated that two 
plans of organization for the Negroes were being con- 
sidered. One provided for the consecration of suffragan 
bishops who should have charge of the colored clergy 
and laity and should be under the diocesan bishop. The 
other called for the consecration of missionary bishops 
who should have charge of the colored work in contigu- 
ous dioceses and who should be responsible to the Gen- 
eral Convention. The Bishop declared that he was heart- 
ily in favor of the latter plan, believing that it met the 
needs of existing conditions much more justly and ad- 
equately than the former. Moreover, the colored people 
themselves seemed to favor the plan of using missionary 

I02 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

bishops. If they were used they would be under the di- 
rect control of the General Convention and would be 
given more independence than suifragan bishops, who 
would be under the administrative jurisdiction of the 
white diocesan bishop. Bishop Cheshire felt that if the 
colored work was to be made independent of the white, 
the Negro bishops should be given some administrative 
as well as spiritual responsibilities. 

When the convention took up the question of the col- 
ored work, it referred the whole matter to a special com- 
mittee. After careful study, the committee recommended 
that the Negroes be given a separate organization, that 
the plan of missionary bishops be adopted, and that the 
deputies from the Diocese should present these recom- 
mendations to the General Convention. The committee's 
report was adopted. 

At the General Convention, which met in the fall of 
1907, the Conference of Church Workers among Colored 
People presented a memorial in which it advocated a 
separate organization for the Negroes and the election of 
suffragan bishops. A joint committee of the House of 
Bishops and the House of Deputies, of which Bishop 
Cheshire was made a member, was appointed to consider 
the memorial. This committee recommended the adop- 
tion of the principal features of the memorial. Bishop 
Cheshire and one other member of the committee pre- 
sented a minority report in which they urged the use of 
missionary bishops. Their report was defeated in the 
House of Bishops by a vote of fifty to thirty-four, while 
that of the majority was carried, forty-five to thirty- 
three. After the defeat of his proposal, Bishop Cheshire 
voted for the majority's report, believing it preferable to 
no action on the subject. 

Work Among the Colored People 103 

The question of the racial episcopate was, however, 
far from being settled. During the next three meetings of 
the General Convention Bishop Cheshire and a few oth- 
ers continued to work for the adoption of the plan of 
missionary bishops. In 191 3 they succeeded in getting the 
plan approved by the House of Bishops, but it was de- 
feated by the House of Deputies. The southern bishops 
and clergy were the most undecided as to what plan they 
wanted to put into effect. Up to 19 18 the Diocese of 
North Carolina had taken no action towards electing a 
suffragan bishop for the colored work. In 191 7 Bishop 
Cheshire advised his diocesan convention to consider the 
question. The next year the convention voted to proceed 
to the election of a suffragan bishop. 

Before nominations for the office were called for, 
Bishop Cheshire gathered together the colored clergy 
and laity of the convention for an informal discussion. 
He told them that, in his opinion, Rev. Henry B. Delany, 
who was then archdeacon of the colored convocation, 
was the best man for the office. Rev. M. A. Barber 
strongly represented the quahfications of the Rev. Mr. 
Baskerville, who had been recommended by Bishop 
Guerry, of South Carolina. Mr. Delany then withdrew 
from the conference, and Bishop Cheshire asked the col- 
ored clergy to express themselves frankly on their pref- 
erence. Every one of them expressed the opinion that, 
while they thought Baskerville was an excellent man, they 
did not think he could compare with Delany in qualifi- 
cations for the office of bishop. Of this unanimity of opin- 
ion, Bishop Cheshire remarked: "It was something of a 
surprise to me— for I really did not know how strong 
their feelings were." 


When the convention proceeded to the election of a 

1 04 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

suffragan bishop, Delany was the only man nominated. 
He received every vote of the clergy and laity. When he 
was presented to the convention and asked to say a few 
words, he simply remarked: "I cannot speak. I cannot 
utter what I feel. I thank you." Bishop Cheshire char- 
acterized his laconic expression as "about the best speech 
he could possibly have made." ^ 

Archdeacon Delany was highly esteemed by both 
white and colored churchmen, and his election met with 
general satisfaction throughout the Diocese. Bishop 
Guerry wrote Bishop Cheshire that he thought Delany 
was "the logical man and I believe you have made a wise 
choice. ... I envy you the privilege of having been the 
first Diocese in the Carolinas to take the lead in so far 
reaching a policy," 

It will be remembered that while rector of St. Peter's, 
Bishop Cheshire had established in Charlotte a mission 
for Negroes, St. Michael and All Angels. Shortly after 
it was well started. Rev. Primus P. Alston, a colored 
priest, was placed in charge of the mission. Alston was an 
energetic and progressive man. He soon began a manual- 
training school for Negro boys and girls, which he called 
St. Michael's Industrial School. In time he erected build- 
ings at a cost of about eight thousand dollars, raising al- 
most all of the money by himself. After some twenty 
years of splendid work as head of this school, Rev. Mr. 
Alston died in 1910. Bishop Cheshire at once decided that 
something must be done to preserve the valuable work 
which Alston had carried on so successfully. Realizing 
the high regard which the people of Charlotte had for 
the man and his work, the Bishop determined to lay the 
question of the future of St. Michael's School before a 
body of representative citizens of Charlotte in the hope 

Work Among the Colored People 105 

of making it a civic enterprise, irrespective of denomi- 
national interests but still under the official administration 
of the diocesan bishop. Acting upon this decision, the 
Bishop called together in Charlotte a group of pro- 
gressive men representing different denominations. He 
pointed out that the school was the property of the Dio- 
cese of North Carolina, that it had for more than twenty 
years done a great work for the community, and that no 
religious test was made an entrance requirement, al- 
though religious training was a part of the school's work. 
The Bishop then asked the group if it would act with 
him as a board of managers for the direction and main- 
tenance of the school. The men displayed a sympathetic 
interest, and promised to co-operate with him in any 
plan for making permanent the work of the institution. 
The Bishop thereupon organized the Board of Managers 
of St. Michael's Industrial School, under whose control 
it continued to operate. 

When Bishop Cheshire met his diocesan convention in 
191 2, he reported what he had done and asked for its en- 
dorsement of his action and its assent to the new plan for 
operating the school. The convention confirmed the 
Bishop's work and consented to his plan for continuing 
St. Michael's School. Thus, by his promptness and re- 
sourcefulness, he preserved for the church and the com- 
munity of Charlotte a valuable institution. 

Bishop Cheshire's work among the Negroes of his 
Diocese received recognition from the national church 
when, in 191 1, he was elected chairman of the Advisory 
Council of the American Church Institute for Negroes. 
The Institute had been organized in 1 906 for the purpose 
of aiding the larger Episcopal schools for Negroes, such 
as St. Augustine's, the Bishop Payne Divinity School, 

io6 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

and others. From this time forward he received a number 
of invitations to speak in the dioceses of the North on 
various phases of the church's work among the Negroes 
of the South. One of his most interesting addresses on 
this subject was made before the Woman's AuxiUary of 
the Diocese of Long Island at its annual meeting in 191 5. 

In this address the Bishop declared that the fact the 
Negro was increasing in population meant to him that 
"God is not done with him. He has something for him to 
do." The Negro had not only survived his contact with 
a higher civilization, but had made in it a place for him- 
self. "Protected and trained by his two and a half cen- 
turies of American slavery, the greatest blessing which 
up to this time he has ever known," the Negro had lived 
through emancipation and the "incalculable injustice 
of his premature enfranchisement." He was turning from 
false political and social aspirations and attempting to lay 
sound foundations for his moral and material develop- 
ment. Referring to the religion of the Negro, Bishop 
Cheshire observed that he found it very little different 
from that of the white man. He spoke of the Negro's 
gift of rehgious emotion, which might be dangerous, "yet 
it is a gift; and it is needed to give power and life to 
faith." The Bishop declared that the church set up a 
standard for the Negro to live by, it acknowledged him 
as a brother, and it gave him a definite place in its organ- 

In answer to the question of what the Woman's Auxil- 
iary could do for the Negro, Bishop Cheshire replied it 
should try to teach the colored churches to support 
themselves and to be willing and able to aid others. As 
for a particular work the organization could undertake, 
he emphasized the importance of hospital care. This was 

Work Among the Colored People 1 07 

a vital need and one which the Negro by himself could 
not supply.'* 

The address was well received, although a few of the 
ideas contained in it were doubtless a little disturbing to 
some of the listeners. The Bishop was fearless in express- 
ing his convictions, and was ever ready to defend them 
when necessary. 

St. Augustine's School for Negroes was founded in 
1867 by North Carolina churchmen. It was built and 
maintained, however, by northern churchmen and agen- 
cies. While the school was not a diocesan institution, 
Bishop Cheshire throughout his episcopate gave it his full 
co-operation and support. He had a personal interest in 
the school, for his father had been one of the original in- 
corporators. As ex-officio president of the Board of 
Trustees he kept in close contact with the development 
of St. Augustine's. Realizing that his state benefited most 
from the school, Bishop Cheshire time and time again 
urged his people to give it every encouragement and as- 
sistance within their means. 

In appreciation of his services to St. Augustine's, the 
authorities of the school resolved to name a proposed 
new building for Bishop Cheshire. Of this decision, the 
presiding bishop, John Gardner Murray, remarked: "I 
can conceive of nothing more splendid that the Church 
or community could do than to erect at St. Augustine's 
a building in honor of Bishop Cheshire. The work itself 
is most deserving in every way, and the Bishop whose 
name you propose to have associated with it, is one of the 
greatest Bishops in our Church in his every relationship 
thereto." ^ 

The dedication of the Cheshire Building at St. Augus- 
tine's College took place on Bishop Cheshire's eightieth 

io8 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

birthday, March 27, 1930. In the course of the ceremony 
the Bishop deHvered an address in which he traced the 
history of St. Augustine's from its estabUshment as a sim- 
ple normal school to its present collegiate status. He 
touched upon the development of Negro education in 
the South since 1865, and emphasized the importance of 
this fact in the growth of a better relationship between 
the races. St. Augustine's, said the Bishop, in a larger 
sense represents the church's attitude towards the Negro 
problem in America and what it has done to solve that 

Dr. A. B. Hunter, principal of the school for twenty- 
five years, made a short talk in which he spoke of the 
Bishop's loyal support of St. Augustine's. He ascribed 
much of the institution's success to the "unfailing sym- 
pathy and material assistance of the Bishop." Towards 
the end of the ceremony a portrait of Bishop Cheshire, 
hanging in the hall of the new building, was unveiled. 

Coming as it did towards the end of his life, this ex- 
pression of appreciation from the colored people was a 
fitting close to the Bishop's work among the Negroes. 
He understood and respected his colored people, and in 
return they loved him and gave him their loyalty and 


Development and Conclusion of 
the Bishop's Work 

In the first decade of his episcopate Bishop Cheshire laid 
the foundation for almost all of his future work. The re- 
mainder of his life was devoted to expansion and im- 
provement. This program demanded all of his thought 
and energy and, as it progressed, became almost more 
than one man could administer. The Bishop never com- 
plained of being overworked, but when he realized he 
was no longer physically able to meet the demands of his 
office, he did not hesitate to ask for assistance. 

A pleasant and interesting interlude in the routine of 
the Bishop's busy life was a trip to England in the sum- 
mer of 1908. The object of the trip was to attend the 
Pan-Anglican Congress and the Lambeth Conference. 
The Bishop and Mrs. Cheshire sailed from New York 
and landed at Liverpool on May 28. Since the Pan- 
Anglican Congress was not to open for about two weeks, 
they spent the intervening time sightseeing and visiting 
friends. Among the many interesting places they visited 
was the old Abbey of Valle Crucis in Wales for which 
Bishop Ives had named his mission school in the moun- 


1 1 o Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

tains of North Carolina. The Bishop observed that here, 
however, there was no natural cruciform arrangement of 
valleys and streams which so distinguished his Valle Cru- 
cis mission. 

The Pan- Anglican Congress was opened on June 15 
by an impressive service held in Westminster Abbey. The 
Congress was composed of bishops, clergymen, laymen, 
and laywomen representing the Anglican communion 
from all parts of the world. There were six thousand 
delegates present, but they were divided into a number 
of sections for the discussion of every phase of church 
work. Bishop Cheshire attended the sessions of one of 
these sections every day, but he did not have time to 
enter in his journal much about the proceedings. On one 
occasion, when the topic for discussion was the church's 
work among the Negroes of North America, he was one 
of the speakers. He later remarked that he had scarcely 
warmed to his subject before his allotted time was gone. 

On another occasion the Bishop was invited to a break- 
fast given by the Church Temperance Society. At the 
breakfast he was seated next to the Bishop of London, 
who was to preside over a meeting of the Society follow- 
ing the meal. In the course of conversation Bishop Cheshire 
remarked to the Bishop of London that "in America at 
least as far as concerned my part of it, drinking was un- 
known among women." The English prelate seemed to 
be greatly impressed by this statement. After the break- 
fast there were several scheduled speakers who talked on 
the problem of intemperance. They all agreed that the 
use of intoxicants in England as a whole had improved, 
but that the discouraging feature of the situation was the 
increased use of them by women. The Bishop of London 
announced that the meeeting would like to hear from the 

Conclusion of the Bishop's Work 1 1 1 

United States, and he would, therefore, call upon Bishop 
Cheshire for a few words. As he rose to speak, the Bishop 
of London said to him, "Tell them what you have been 
telling me." After commenting on the work of the 
Church Temperance Society, he complied with the re- 
quest and added: "I beheve it to be true of all parts of 
the United States that among the descendants of the 
original English, Scotch , and Scotch-Irish settlers of 
America, intemperance or the use of intoxicating drinks 
among the women is unknown, or so extremely rare as to 
amount to nothing in looking at the situation in its gen- 
eral aspect." ^ His audience displayed a keen interest in 
his views. 

The Pan- Anglican Congress closed on June 24 with a 
service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Bishop Cheshire thought 
that the Congress was "the most remarkable religious 
gathering of recent times." He was particularly impressed 
by the deep interest the British public and press took in 
the proceedings of the Congress. The capacity of the 
great Albert Hall was taxed to hold the average daily 
attendance of twelve thousand persons. 

The Lambeth Conference, which opened on July 5, 
did not attract as much attention as usual, since it fol- 
lowed so closely upon the Pan-Anglican Congress. Its 
work, however, was none the less significant in the life 
of the church. Bishop Cheshire considered its proceed- 
ings more interesting than those of 1897. He noted that 
the younger bishops took a more active part than they 
had in the previous Conference. He served as a member 
of the Committee on Foreign Missions. 

Bishop Cheshire returned to England in the summer of 
1920 to attend his third and final Lambeth Conference. 
He was then seventy years old but in good health and 

1 1 2 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

still capable of doing a full day's work. He regularly at- 
tended the sessions of the Conference, and manifested as 
much interest as ever in its work. 

The Bishop was made a member of the Committee on 
Christianity and International Relations, which was to 
deal in particular with the League of Nations. He found 
the work of the committee very interesting, but later re- 
marked that the American bishops on the committee 
found themselves in an embarrassing position, since the 
League of Nations had been made a political issue in the 
presidential campaign of that year.^ Bishop Cheshire felt 
that this Lambeth Conference surpassed the two previous 
ones in the importance of the work accomplished and in 
the probable results. The Conference took much "wider 
and freer views" of the questions discussed. The Bishop 
observed that some of the speeches which were received 
with decided approval were strongly opposed to all that 
had been the traditional policy of the church. 

Upon the close of the Conference Bishop and Mrs. 
Cheshire, accompanied by their friends. Dr. and Mrs. A. 
B. Hunter, spent a few weeks traveling on the Continent. 
The Bishop particularly enjoyed his visit to Switzerland, 
whose mountain scenery greatly impressed him. He al- 
ways thought, however, that his North Carolina moun- 
tains were more beautiful and appealing than the more 
spectacular Alps. On one Sunday which the Cheshires 
and Hunters spent at Gletsch, Switzerland, the Bishop 
took his little party out into the country. In the presence 
of the great Rhone glacier with his "congregation" sit- 
ting on rocks about him, he read the Morning Prayer, 
omitting not one part of it. 

In addition to his three visits to Europe, Bishop Chesh- 
ire made one other trip beyond the borders of the United 

Conclusion of the Bishops s Work 1 1 3 

States. In 1910 the Archbishop of the West Indies in- 
vited a number of American bishops to Jamaica to assist 
in the consecration of the churches which had been re- 
built on the island after the disastrous earthquake of 
1907. Bishop Cheshire accepted the invitation and, as it 
turned out, was the sole representative of the American 
Episcopal Church. The consecration ceremonies took 
place in January, 1 9 1 1 . During his stay of about two 
weeks the Bishop participated in the consecration of five 
or six churches. Describing the ecclesiastical procession 
at one of the ceremonies, the Daily Neivs of Kingston, 
Jamaica, commented: "There was then the stern Prelate 
of North Carolina just south of Mason and Dixon's line; 
Prelate of a vast domain many, many times the size of 
this island, and with a problem something like ours." 
This exaggerated description amused the Bishop a great 
deal. He enjoyed his visit, particularly riding about the 
island observing the customs and manners of the natives. 
He always took a keen pleasure in learning about new 
places and their people. 

Turning now to diocesan affairs, we find Bishop 
Cheshire preparing to begin a long campaign to free St. 
Mary's School from its burdensome debt and to raise an 
adequate endowment for the institution. When he ad- 
dressed the convention of 191 2 he reminded the mem- 
bers that on October 15, 191 3, he would complete 
twenty years as bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. 
In his opinion, the most important work accomplished in 
this period was the establishment of St. Mary's as a dio- 
cesan school. The Bishop declared that he would like to 
celebrate his twentieth anniversary by paying off the 
debt on St. Mary's and by raising one hundred thousand 
dollars towards a permanent endowment. He wished, 

1 14 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

therefore, to devote much of his time for the next 
eighteen months to this end, and asked for the conven- 
tion's support. The convention indorsed his suggestion 
and promised its co-operation. 

At the convention of 1 9 1 3 a special committee on an 
endowment for St. Mary's was appointed to work with 
the Bishop. Notwithstanding the efforts of Bishop Chesh- 
ire and the committee, very little money was raised by 
the anniversary of his consecration. Thus, the matter 
stood until 1 9 1 6, when Bishop Cheshire proposed an ex- 
ceedingly ambitious program. The plan called for raising 
fifty thousand dollars to retire the school's funded debt 
and to meet certain necessary expenses, one hundred 
thousand dollars as an endowment, and another hundred 
thousand for additions and improvements. It was further 
suggested that the dioceses of East Carolina, South Caro- 
lina, and the Jurisdiction of Asheville should be asked to 
co-operate in this endeavor. The convention adopted the 
plan, and the quota for Bishop Cheshire's Diocese was set 
at seventy-five thousand dollars. 

The Bishop was untiring in his efforts to interest his 
people in the needs and promising future of St. Mary's. 
The program for raising the endowment was progressing 
well when the war disrupted its work, but the campaign 
was by no means abandoned. By the end of 192 1 more 
than one hundred and forty-six thousand dollars had 
been pledged. Two years later the Bishop reported that 
St. Mary's School was free of all debt. The generous gifts 
to the school by Mr. Lawrence Holt and Mr. WilHam 
A. Erwin, which followed shortly afterwards, gave the 
Bishop much pleasure and made him feel that the work 
which he considered the most important of his episcopate 
was now permanently established. 

Cojiclusion of the Bishop's Work 1 1 5 

When America entered the World War in 19 17, 
Bishop Cheshire felt that President Wilson was fully 
justified in asking Congress for a declaration of war. Of 
the conflict he observed that, while America as a nation 
had committed errors and evils in the past, he believed 
that as far as the present war was concerned, "we know 
that we have no selfish purpose or desires." The Bishop 
was upholding a cause which was brought close home to 
him, for he had two sons who volunteered and later saw 
service in France. He had very definite ideas on duty to 
one's country, and httle patience with those pacifists who 
held that a Christian could not go to war. In his opinion, 
such an argument was no more valid than it would be to 
say that one should not protect one's home and family 
against thieves and murderers. "We owe everything that 
we are—" declared the Bishop, "all that we have to our 
Country. We owe her ourselves." ^ In the course of the 
war he gave voice to these views in many of his sermons. 

When the Bishop heard that a camp for training sol- 
diers was to be established in Charlotte, he called to- 
gether the Episcopal clergy of that city for a discussion 
of the problem of caring for the needs of thirty or forty 
thousand soldiers who were expected there. They de- 
vised plans for keeping open the parish houses of the sev- 
eral churches for the use of the soldiers, and the best 
means of caring for their religious life. The Bishop ad- 
dressed a letter to the people of the Diocese asking them 
to give every possible assistance to their friends in Char- 
lotte in this great responsibility. 

As Bishop Cheshire was about to complete a quarter of 
a century as head of the Diocese of North Carolina, it 
was planned to celebrate the occasion with a special 

1 1 6 Bishop Joseph Bloimt Cheshire 

service in Calvary Church, Tarboro, on October 15, 
191 8. But when the time came for the celebration, it had 
to be postponed because of the influenza epidemic. It was 
finally held in Raleigh at the closing session of the con- 
vention of 19 19. The Bishop delivered an address in 
which he traced the history of the Diocese during his 
episcopate. The convention then by a unanimous rising 
vote adopted the following resolution introduced by Dr. 
R. D. W. Connor: 

"That gratefully acknowledging our obligations to 
Almighty God for the many evidences of His Divine 
guidance in the affairs of His Church throughout this 
period of its history, we are especially grateful to Him 
for the love and care with which He has preserved the 
physical strength, the mental vigor and power, and the 
spiritual grace and consecration of our beloved Bishop. 
Resolved further, that this Diocese is greatly indebted to 
Bishop Cheshire for the sympathetic spirit, the unflag- 
ging zeal and never-failing wisdom and the statesman- 
like vision with which, under God, he has directed its 
affairs, shaped its policies, and guided its growth and 
development; that we hope and pray he may long be 
spared to lead us in full strength and vigor of body, 
mind, and spirit; and that we take this opportunity of 
pledging to him our unswerving loyalty and undivided 
support in the prosecution of his labors for the spread 
of the Kingdom of God on earth." ^ 

Dr. A. Burtis Hunter, for the clergy, and Governor 
Thomas Bickett, for the laity, brought to the Bishop 
messages of loyalty and affection. Mr. William A. Erwin 
presented the Bishop with a purse of gold from the peo- 
ple of the Diocese as a token of their love and esteem. 

Conclusion of the Bishop's Work 1 1 7 

Bishop Cheshire was deeply moved by these expressions 
from his clergy and laity. It would be difficult to find in 
any diocese a more sympathetic relationship between 
bishop and people. 

As Bishop Cheshire advanced in years, changes were 
taking place in the church as in almost every other insti- 
tution. Some of these he advocated, while others he ac- 
cepted with regret. When the diocesan convention of 
1919 met, a plan was introduced placing the administra- 
tion of the affairs of the Diocese in the hands of the 
bishop and an executive council. Of the proposed plan 
Bishop Cheshire said that he thought it had "some advan- 
tages," but he earnestly hoped that the administration of 
the diocesan missions by the archdeacons would not in 
any way be changed. The archdeacons were a great as- 
sistance to the bishop in carrying on missionary work, 
and were invaluable in overseeing vacant parishes and 
missions. He referred to them as "the eyes of the Bishop 
in all matters of practical work," and stated that he 
wished to take this occasion to express his appreciation 
for the relief they had afforded him. In his opinion, what- 
ever shortcomings could be ascribed to the present sys- 
tem of convocations under archdeacons were largely due 
to the lack of co-operation by the laity. 

After considering several proposals, the convention 
adopted a plan of diocesan organization which provided 
for an executive committee to be elected by the conven- 
tion. It was to be composed of the bishop as ex-officio 
chairman, three clergymen, three laymen, and three lay- 
women. The executive committee was to act as a co-ordi- 
nating and co-operating agent in diocesan work. The 
convention also provided the bishop with a secretary 
who should likewise serve as secretary of the executive 

1 1 8 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

committee. The functions of the archdeacons were not 
at this time altered. Several years later, however, the per- 
sonnel of the executive committee and the scope of its 
influence were enlarged. Also, a field secretary, who was 
to oversee missionary work, was employed. These inno- 
vations made the old system of convocations and arch- 
deacons unnecessary, and it was accordingly abolished. 

The Bishop observed with regret the abolition of the 
office of archdeacon but acquiesced in it, since the ma- 
jority of the clergy and laity preferred the new system 
of administration. In his annual address of 1929 he paid 
a final tribute to his archdeacons. He asserted that the 
missionary work had never been so well looked after as 
under their supervision, and that he would not have been 
able to advance this phase of his work without their in- 
valuable assistance. 

When Bishop Cheshire was entering upon his seven- 
tieth year, he felt little impairment of his physical 
strength and had no desire to diminish his episcopal du- 
ties. He realized, however, that others might feel he was 
growing too old to carry on the work alone. Placing the 
affairs of the church above any personal considerations, 
he asked the convention of 19 19 whether he should con- 
tinue to administer the Diocese without assistance or 
adopt some other course. The Bishop then retired, and 
the convention sitting as a committee of the whole con- 
sidered its reply. Dr. Richard H. Lewis introduced a 
resolution which was unanimously adopted. It declared 
that the affairs of the Diocese had in no way been neg- 
lected; that there was no evidence of failure of the Bish- 
op's physical or mental faculties; and that the conven- 
tion was confident that he would ask for assistance when 
he felt it was necessary. The confidence his people placed 

Conclusion of the Bishops s Work 1 1 9 

in him, as expressed in this resolution, gave Bishop Chesh- 
ire much pleasure and encouragement. 

In the spring of 1922 the Bishop informed the Stand- 
ing Committee of the Diocese that he had been urged by 
several physicians and laymen to curtail his work and to 
request the convention for assistance. The Standing 
Committee promptly advised him to propose the election 
of a bishop coadjutor. Accordingly, on April 21, he ad- 
dressed a letter to the clergy in which he announced his 
intention to ask the approaching diocesan convention to 
consider the question of electing a bishop coadjutor. The 
Bishop felt the clergy and laity should be informed of 
his purpose in order that they might give this important 
subject thoughtful consideration before the meeting of 
the convention. 

On May 16, at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 
Raleigh, the convention met and immediately took up the 
question of giving the Bishop assistance in his work. 
After consideration it resolved that a bishop coadjutor 
should be elected. Bishop Cheshire then gave his consent 
to the election, and assigned to whoever should hold the 
new office the episcopal oversight of the Convocation of 
Charlotte and the personal supervision of all postulants 
and candidates for Holy Orders of the Diocese. 

The nominations for bishop coadjutor took place on 
the evening of the second day. After six ballots were 
taken, the Rev. Edwin Anderson Penick, Rector of St. 
Peter's Church, Charlotte, was elected. He received 
thirty-two clerical votes and twenty-four from the laity. 
The choice of the convention met with general satisfac- 
tion throughout the Diocese. Concerning the election. 
Bishop Cheshire declared: "We believe that the Spirit 
of God effectuates with His presence. His guidance, His 

120 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

blessing, the solemn functions of the Body of Christ, 
And never, I make bold to say, did we feel more sure 
of the Divine presence, guidance and blessing, than in 
the solemn hour of the choosing of our Bishop Coadju- 
tor. Among the many happy and helpful experiences of 
my Episcopate, and of my life, I remember that as one 
of the best." ^ 

On October 15, 1922, the twenty-ninth anniversary 
of Bishop Cheshire's consecration. Rev. Edwin A. Pen- 
ick, D.D., was consecrated bishop coadjutor in St. 
Peter's Church, Charlotte. He entered upon the duties 
of his ofEce almost immediately thereafter. From that 
time until the death of Bishop Cheshire the two men 
worked together in perfect harmony. Although they did 
not always agree on diocesan poHcy, they never allowed 
a difference of opinion to mar their affectionate rela- 

Bishop Cheshire gradually placed more responsibility 
on Bishop Penick as he became better acquainted with the 
work of the Diocese. A characteristic act of Bishop 
Cheshire's, and one which claimed the admiration of his 
people, was the turning over of the work at Chapel 
Hill to Bishop Penick's supervision. The Chapel of the 
Cross at Chapel Hill had been the Bishop's first parish 
and he had always retained for it a deep affection. 
Therefore, it was a personal sacrifice for him to relinquish 
it to another. He felt that, due to the peculiar nature 
of the work at Chapel Hill, it should be under the 
guidance of a younger man. 

As Bishop Cheshire grew older he began to plan how 
best he could provide for his wife and daughter when 
they would no longer be able to live at Ravenscroft, 
the Bishop's house. He decided to build a small apart- 

Conclusion of the Bishop's Work 1 2 1 

merit house in Raleigh, which would produce an income 
as well as provide a home for them. When the house was 
completed he advertised the apartments for rent only to 
families with children. He thought the frequent practice 
of denying apartments to persons with children was most 
unfair and, therefore, determined to make his house an 
exception. This was typical of the Bishop, who loved 
children and large families. 

In building his apartment house Bishop Cheshire had 
to borrow a part of the cost of its construction. Speak- 
ing of this to Bishop Penick, he remarked he hoped to 
live four years longer since by that time his loan would 
be retired. Recalling this observation Bishop Penick de- 
cided to raise a sum of money from among the people 
of the Diocese to relieve the Bishop of this care. The 
money was raised by the time the diocesan convention 
met in the spring of 1924 at Winston-Salem. It was a 
fitting time and place for the presentation of the gift, 
since it was at Winston-Salem thirty years before that 
Bishop Cheshire presided over his first convention. The 
gift, which amounted to $4,273, was presented to the 
Bishop from the people of the Diocese by Dr. Richard 
H. Lewis, who said in part: "My dear Bishop: By your 
strong and vigorous intellect, your wide and accurate 
learning, your pubHc spirit, your unspotted character, 
and a personality of unaffected friendship, you have 
come to be— in the words of another— 'one of the best 
known and best loved men in our State.' " Referring to 
this generous expression of affection. Bishop Cheshire 
remarked that he could never "cease to feel grateful to 
him whose generosity conceived the idea, and to the 
many kind friends who responded to his suggestion, and 
transmuted his thoughts into act." 

1 2 2 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

At this convention the Bishop deUvered an address in 
which he briefly reviewed the high points in the thirty 
years of his episcopate. He declared he wished to repeat 
a major point he had made in his first episcopal address 
in 1894, namely, the importance of realizing the "com- 
mon bond of union in the Diocese by becoming inter- 
ested in common Diocesan work." During the past three 
decades Bishop Cheshire had accomplished more than 
any of his predecessors in breaking down parochialism 
by arousing in his people a lively interest in diocesan 
enterprises. The Bishop concluded the review of his work 
by saying that the past thirty years had been happy ones, 
"years in which I have received much love, consideration, 
and kindness from all our people, clerical and lay." 

The unusual and praiseworthy feature of the general 
esteem in which Bishop Cheshire was held in North Caro- 
lina was the demonstration of that esteem during his life- 
time. The churchmen did not wait until his death to 
eulogize him and to erect memorials in his honor. On 
many occasions and in many different ways he was made 
to realize the high place which he held in the hearts of 
his people. 

After completing thirty-five years as bishop of the 
Diocese of North Carolina, a longer period than any of 
his predecessors. Bishop Cheshire felt that he must give 
up the greater part of his work. He therefore informed 
the convention of 1929 that he was turning over to 
Bishop Penick the general administration of the entire 
Diocese. He thought that the ever-increasing and more 
complicated work of the church required a younger 
and more vigorous man, one, as he expresed it, "more 
adaptable and more in sympathy with changing condi- 
tions and methods." Of Bishop Penick he said: "We have 
one whom we all beheve to be eminently fitted to carry 

Conclusion of the Bishop's Work 1 2 3 

on the Diocese with success and with the confidence, 
sympathy and affection of all." Bishop Cheshire did not 
intend, however, to relinquish all of his duties. He re- 
tained for himself the episcopal oversight of about one- 
third of the parishes and missions, the keeping of the 
diocesan register, and the requisite business before the 
Standing Committee. The parishes which he reserved for 
his own visitations were all located within a convenient 
distance from Raleigh. 

Bishop Cheshire was not present at the convention of 
1929 because of the serious illness of Mrs. Cheshire. 
Bishop Penick read his address. It was the first diocesan 
convention that he had failed to attend since 1876 when 
he had been present as a lay delegate. Mrs. Cheshire died 
before the convention adjourned. Accordingly, resolu- 
tions of sympathy for the Bishop were adopted, and a 
committee was appointed to represent the convention at 
Mrs. Cheshire's funeral. The death of his wife was a 
great loss to the Bishop; their life of thirty years together 
had been happy and congenial. Mrs. Cheshire had been 
a generous mother to his small children, and a helpful 
and devoted wife. 

Although his strength was gradually failing. Bishop 
Cheshire displayed during the next three years a re- 
markable activity. For one of his years he preserved an 
unusually tolerant attitude towards the many religious, 
social, and political changes of the day. When, on his 
eightieth birthday, he was asked what he thought of the 
youth of today, the Bishop replied: "The world is a 
much better place than it was when I was a young man, 
. . . Young people today have more personal religion 
than thev did then." ^ While he disapproved of much 
that was done by the youth of today, he thought that his 
parents must have had much of the same sort of disap- 

124 Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire 

proval of his own generation. "When people talk," said 
the Bishop, "of the degeneration of the morals and man- 
ners of the present, and praise the good old times and 
old time religion, as being so much superior to the 
present, they do not know what the old times were, and 
in my opinion, they are often speaking nonsense. That 
is my very serious opinion." '^ In making this observa- 
tion he did not mean to depreciate the religion of his 
forefathers, for no one had a greater respect and venera- 
tion for the past. 

During the last year of his life Bishop Cheshire filled 
almost all of his regular visitations in the eastern part 
of the Diocese. In addition, he spent ten days, in the 
month of July, visiting the country churches in the 
counties of Rowan, Mecklenburg, Davie, and Iredell. 
In the course of these visitations he called on forty 
families in the several parishes and missions. Such ac- 
tivity in midsummer would have taxed the strength of a 
far younger man, but it did not appear to trouble the 
Bishop. At the time, he wrote his son that although the 
heat was very severe, he noticed it no more than if he 
had been doing nothing. In June of 1932 the Bishop 
went to Hartford, Connecticut, to assist in the consecra- 
tion of a new chapel at his alma mater. Trinity College. 
He enjoyed the trip thoroughly, renewing some of his 
old friendships and making new ones. 

By the fall of 1932 Bishop Cheshire's health was greatly 
impaired, but he continued his visitations through Decem- 
ber 1 1 . On that day he performed his last service. He 
confirmed a class of fifteen persons in the Church of the 
Good Shepherd, Raleigh, but was not able to preach the 
sermon. A few days later he went to Charlotte for treat- 
ment by a specialist. Shortly after entering the hospital, 
however, he became gradually worse. On December 27, 

Conclusion of the Bishop's Work 1 2 5 

at six-thirty in the evening, the Diocese of North Caro- 
lina lost its beloved Bishop. 

It was unusually difficult for the people of the Diocese 
to reahze that Bishop Cheshire would no longer be with 
them. He had possessed such a lovable and dynamic per- 
sonality, had so largely molded the character of the 
Diocese, and had been its Bishop for so long that his 
people found it hard to associate the idea of death with 
him. He had baptized, confirmed, or married many of 
them, had entered symparhetically into the pleasures 
and problems of their secular as well as their spiritual 
lives, and thus endeared himself to them to an extent 
far beyond the capacity of most men. In the words of 
the Presiding Bishop, James DeWolf Perry: "It is im- 
possible to foresee a time when his influence will not be 
felt, his penetrating mind will not be esteemed or when 
his name will cease to be held in grateful and loving 


From a drawing by Mary de B. Graves 



1. Joseph Blount Cheshire, "Some Account of My Life for My 
Children," Carolina Churchman, March, 1934. Hereafter, this work is 
cited simply as "Some Account of My Life." 

2. This manuscript was written on February 12, 1866. It is owned 
by Mr. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., of Raleigh. 

3. Cheshire, "Some Account of My Life," Carolina Churchman, 
May, 1934. 

4. Ibid., December, 1934. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid., February, 1935. 

7. Ibid. 


1. Cheshire, "Some Account of My Life," Carolina Churchman, 
May, 1935. 

2. Ibid., April, 1935. 

3. Church Messefiger, August 4, 1881. 

4. Joseph B. Cheshire, "Autobiography," pp. 229-230, a manuscript 
work owned by Mr. J. B. Cheshire, Jr. 

5. Ibid., p. 230. 

6. Ibid., pp. 231-232. 

7. Ibid., p. 256. 


1. Cheshire to his wife, November 23, 1905, Cheshire Manuscripts, 
owned by Mr. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., Raleigh. 

2. Cheshire, "Autobiography," p. 315. 

3. Ibid., p. 322. 

4. Ibid., p. 345. 

5. Cheshire to Bishop Lyman, April 6, 1886, Joseph Blount Cheshire 
Papers, University of North Carolina Library. 


128 Notes 

6. Bishop Lyman to Cheshire, October 17, 1888, Joseph Blount 
Cheshire Papers, University of North Carolina Library. 

7. A. W. Dodge to Cheshire, July 6, 1891, Bishop Joseph Blount 
Cheshire Papers, North Carolina Historical Commission. 

8. Cheshire, "Autobiography," p. 382. 


1. Cheshire to Nannie C. Hoke, February 16, 1891, Bishop Joseph 
Blount Cheshire Papers, North Carolina Historical Commission. 

2. Rev. Robert B. Owens to L. F. London, July 8, 1938. Mr. Owens 
was a member of the adjourned convention of 1893. This letter con- 
tains a description of the proceedings of that convention. 

3. Cheshire to Dr. Joseph B. Cheshire, Sr., June 29, 1893, Bishop 
Joseph Blount Cheshire Papers, North Carolina Historical Commis- 

4. Cheshire to Sallie Badger Hoke, July 3, 1893, Bishop Joseph 
Blount Cheshire Papers, North Carolina Historical Commission. 

5. Rev. Francis J. Murdoch in an open letter to Rev. E. A. Osborne, 
1893, Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire Papers, North Carolina His- 
torical Commission. 


1. Journal of the Convention of the Diocese of North Carolina 
(1894), p. 64. 

2. Joseph B. Cheshire, Milnor Jones, Deacon and Missionary, p. 28. 

3. Ibid., p. 53. 

4. Journal of the Conventioji of the Missionary Jurisdiction of 
Asheville (1896), p. 51. 

5. Ibid., pp. 50-51. 

6. Cheshire to his wife, October 2, 1901, Cheshire Manuscripts, 
owned by Mr. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., Raleigh. 

7. Joseph B. Cheshire, Fifty Years of Church Life in North Caro- 
lina, p. 6. 

8. Joseph B. Cheshire, Journal of 1897, p. 96, a manuscript account 
of his visit to England and the Continent in the summer of 1897, 
owned by Mr. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., Raleigh. 

9. Nicholas Collin Hughes, "Some Memories of Bishop Cheshire." 
This manuscript was written for L. F. London and is in his posses- 

10. Journal of the Coiivention of the Diocese of North Carolina 
(1896), pp. 61-62. 

11. Cheshire to his wife, November 7, 1899, Cheshire Manuscripts, 
owned by Mr. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., Raleigh. 

12. The Raleigh News and Observer, October 15, 1903. 

Notes 129 

I. Carolina Churchman, April, 193 1. 


1. Cheshire, "Some Account of My Life," CaroliTia Churchman, 
January, 1935. 

2. Walter Clark to Cheshire, May 24, 1893, Bishop Joseph Blount 
Cheshire Papers, North Carolina Historical Commission. 

3. Cheshire, "Autobiography," p. 360. 

4. Ibid., pp. 414-418. 

5. The Raleigh News and Observer, December 4, 1931. 


1. Cheshire to his wife, August 25, 1905, Cheshire Manuscripts, 
owned by Mr. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., Raleigh. 

2. Journal of the Convention of the Diocese of North Carolina 
(1907), p. 72. 

3. Bishop Cheshire to Bishop Guerry, May 17, 191 8, Joseph Blount 
Cheshire Papers, University of North Carolina Library. 

4. Joseph B. Cheshire, Manuscript Address, Cheshire Manuscripts, 
owned by Mr. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., Raleigh. 

5. Carolina Churchman, May, 1929. 


1. Joseph B. Cheshire, "Our Summer, 1908," a journal of his visit to 
England for the Pan-Anglican Congress and the Lambeth Conference, 
owned by Mr. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., Raleigh. 

2. Joseph B. Cheshire, "England, 1920," a journal of his trip to 
England for the Lambeth Conference and of his visit to France and 
Switzerland, owned by Mr. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., Raleigh. 

3. Sermon on Patriotism and the War, Joseph Blount Cheshire 
Papers, University of North Carolina Library. 

4. Journal of the Co7Jvention of the Diocese of North Carolina 
(1919), p. 51. 

5. Ibid. (1923), p. 84. 

6. The Raleigh News and Observer, March 28, 1930. 

7. Carolina Churchman, April, 1930. 

Published Writings of Joseph Blount Cheshire 

Address of the Right Rev. Joseph Blount Cheshire, Bishop of 
North Carolina, on the Occasion of the Dedicatio?i of the 
Memorial Vestibule in Christ Church, Raleigh, to the 
Glory of God and in the Memory of Richard Henry 
Lewis, December i8, 192'j. Charlottesville, Va., n.d. 

"Baptism of Virginia Dare," anniversary address, delivered 
on Roanoke Island by Rt. Rev. Joseph Blount Cheshire, 
D.D., August 18, 1910, North Carolina Booklet, Vol. X, 
no. 4. 

Bishop Atkinson a7id the Church in the Confederacy. Ral- 
eigh, 1909. 

"The Bishops of North Carolina— When the State Was One 
Diocese," The Carolina Churchman, November, 1910- 
February, 191 1. 

The Church in the Cotrfederate States: A History of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States. 
New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 19 12. 

"The Church in the Province of North Carolina," in 
Sketches of Church History in North Carolina, edited by 
Bishop Cheshire. 

"Decay and Revival, 1800-18 30," in Sketches of Church 
History in North Carolina, edited by Bishop Cheshire. 

"Dr. Richard H. Lewis; An Intimate Sketch by a Life-long 
Friend," The Carolina ChurchTnmt, October, 1926. 

The Early Conventions: held at Tarborough Anno Domini 
ijpo, 1JP3 and 1^94. The first effort to organize the 
Church in North Carolina. Collected from original sources 

1 3 2 Published Writings 

and now first published. With introductioti and brief 
notes, Raleigh, 1882. 

"The Early Rectors of Christ Church," Centennial Ceremo- 
nies held in Christ Church Parish, Raleigh, North Caro- 
lina, A.D. 1^21. Including Historical Addresses. Raleigh, 

"Entries in an Old Bible which was Formerly in the Posses- 
sion of Miss Chloe Coward," North Carolina Historical 
and Genealogical Register, July, 1903. 

Fifty Years of Church Life in North Carolina, an Address 
by the Rt. Rev. Joseph Blount Cheshire, D.D., Bishop of 
North Carolina, on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Rev. 
Robert B. Drane, D.D., as Rector of St. Paul's Church, 
Edenton, N. C. All Saints' Day, 1926. Edenton, n.d. 

"First Settlers in North Carolina Not Religious Refugees: A 
Study in Origins," North Carolina Booklet, Vol. V, no. 4. 

Fragmejits of Colonial Church History: 1. Public Libraries. 
n.p., 1886. 

"The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, and Religious 
Liberty in the Province of North Carolina," Historical 
Magazine of the Protestajit Episcopal Church, Vol. I, 
no. 4. 

A?i Historical Address Delivered in Saint Matthew's Church, 
Hillsboro, N. C, on Sunday, August 24, 1924. Being the 
One Himdredth Afiniversary of the Parish. Durham, 1925. 

"An Historical Sketch of the Church in Edgecombe County, 
North Carolina," Church Messenger, August 17-Septem- 
ber 21, 1880. 

"How Our Church Came to North Carolina," The Spirit of 
Missions, May, 19 18. 

Milnor Jones, Deacon ajid Missionary. Raleigh, 1920. 

Nonmdla: Memories, Stories, and Traditions, More or Less 
Authentic, About North Carolina. Chapel Hill: The Uni- 
versity of North Carolina Press, 1930. 

"The Office of Solicitor General of North Carolina," Uni- 
versity of North Carolina Magazine, May, 1894. 

"The Personnel of the North Carolina Convention of 1788," 
Publications of the Southern History Association, Vol. 
Ill, 1899. 

Published Writings 1 3 3 

A Priest to the Temple or, The Country Parson, His Char- 
acter and Rule of Holy Life, by George Herbert, with an 
Introduction and brief notes by the Bishop of North 
Carolina. New York: Thomas Whittaker, Inc., 1908. 

Public Worship in the Church. A Charge to the Clergy of 
the Diocese of North Carolina delivered at the meeting 
of the Convocations of Raleigh and Charlotte, in October, 
191 2. Also a Pastoral Letter to the Clergy and Laity of 
the Diocese, n.p., n.d. 

Saint Petefs Church, Charlotte, North Carolina— Thirty 
Years of its Life and Work, 186^-1893. Charlotte, 192 1. 

"A Sermon; Preached in St. John's Church, Fayetteville, the 
Sunday next before Advent, November 24, 1889, at the 
Centennial of the Fayetteville Convention of 1789," Uni- 
versity of North Carolina Magazine, Vol. XI, no. 4. 

Sketches of Church History in North Carolina, Addresses 
and Papers by the Clergymen and Laymen of the Dioceses 
of North and East Carolina. Wilmington, 1892. 

"Some Account of My Life for My Children," Carolina 
Churchman, January, 1934-May, 1935. 

"White Haven Church and the Rev. Robert Johnston Mil- 
ler," in Sketches of Church History in North Carolina, 
edited by Bishop Cheshire. 

"Why Judge Haywood Left North Carolina," University 
of North Carolijia Magazine, January, 1895. 

"Wilmington, the Free Town of the Cape Fear," in Historic 
Toivns of the Southern States, by Lyman P. Powell. New 
York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1900. 


Abbey of Valle Crucis, 109 
Adams, Rev. Samuel F., 59 
"A. H. W.," poem, 17 
Albemarle section, 2, 89 
Alpha Delta Phi, 11 
Alston, Rev. Primus P., 31, 76, 

Alumnae Association of St. Mary's 

School, 64 
American Church Institute for 

Negroes, Cheshire elected to, 

"Annals of the Church in the 

Province of North Carolina," 

MS by Cheshire, 91 
Archdeacons, Cheshire's estimate 

of, 117-118 
Ashe County, 57-58 
Atkinson, Bishop Thomas, 18-19, 

21; on division of Diocese, 35; 

sketch of by Cheshire, 94-95 

Battle, President Kemp P., 19, 22, 


Battle, Richard H., 75 

Beach Cliff Schoolhouse, 34 

Beaver Creek, 58-59 

Bickett, Gov. Thomas, 116 

Bishop of Georgia, Cheshire con- 
sidered for, 41 

Bishop Payne Divinity School, 105 

Bixby, Robert F., 10 

Blount, Elizabeth, 2 

Blount, Joseph, 2 

Bridgers, Cheshire, and Bridgers, 
firm of, 15 

Bridgers, Col. John L., 15 

Bridgers, John L., Jr., 15 

Bronson, Rev. Benjamin S., insti- 
tutional work in Charlotte, 28- 

Burlington, N. C, Cheshire is 

called to church at, 25 
Buxton, Rev. Jarvis, 40, 91 


Bakersville, N. C, 58 

Baltimore, 13; practices law in, 

Barber, Rev. Al. A., 103 
Barrett, Rev. Robert S., 47, 48 
Barrows, Rev. W. S., 49 
Baskerville, Rev. Erasmus L., 103 

Calvary Church, Tarboro, 2, 3, 

35; Cheshire receives call to, 41; 

Cheshire consecrated in, 52-53 

Canterbury, Archbishop of, 67 

Capers, Bishop EUison, 53, 66 

Chapel Hill, 19-20; Cheshire gives 

work in to Bishop Penick, 120 




Chapel of the Cross, Cheshire be- 
comes rector of, 19-20 

Charlotte, Cheshire begins work 
in, 27 

Cheshire, Annie, 44 

Cheshire, Annie Gray, Bishop's 
sister, 4 

Cheshire, Annie Webb (Mrs. 
Joseph Blount), 17, 22, 44; death 
of, 67 

Cheshire, Elizabeth Mitchell (Mrs. 
Joseph Blount), 69; death of, 

123 . 
Cheshire, Elizabeth Toole, 23, 44 
Cheshire, Godfrey, 44 
Cheshire, James Webb, 44 
Cheshire, John, the Bishop's 

grandfather, 2 
Cheshire, Dr. Joseph Blount, Sr., 

2, 3._ 4- 7. 10 
Cheshire, Bishop Joseph Blount, 
birth, 4; early education, 4-6; 
practices law, 14-17; marries 
Annie Webb, 17; ordained dea- 
con, 19; rector, Chapel of the 
Cross, 19-26; ordained priest, 25; 
rector, St. Peter's, Charlotte, 
27 ff.; Negro work in Charlotte, 
30-31; in diocesan conventions, 
34-39; views on episcopate, 47; 
elected assistant bishop, 50; on 
Missionary Jurisdiction of Ashe- 
ville, 60-63; St. Mary's School, 
63-66; death of Annie Webb 
Cheshire, 67; marries Elizabeth 
Mitchell, 69; in the General 
Convention, 69-70; on public 
worship, 71-72; on fishing and 
hunting, 77-79; on divorce ques- 
tion, 81-84; on national prohibi- 
tion, 84-85; as a father, 86-87; 
on racial episcopate, 101-104; 
asks for assistance, 119; death of 
Elizabeth Mitchell Cheshire, 
123; on youth of today, 123-124; 
death of, 125 

Cheshire, Joseph Blount, Jr., 44, 

Cheshire, Katherine Drane, 4 
Cheshire, Sarah, 44, 79 
Cheshire, Theophilus Parker, 4 
Cheshire Building, St. Augustine's, 

Christ Church, Raleigh, 48 
Church in the Confederate States, 

discussion of, 94-96 
Churchman, The, 95 
Church Messenger, 23, 25, 90 ~ 
Church of the Good Shepherd, 

Raleigh, 75, 119; Cheshire's last 

service, 124 
Church Temperance Society, of 

England, iio-iii 
Church Times, 95 
Clark, Gov. Henry, 88 
Clark, Judge Walter, 89 
Colonial Records of North Caro- 

liita, 89, 91 
Connor, R. D. W., resolution on 

the Bishop, 116 
Convocation for Colored Work, 

Convocation of Charlotte, 74, 119 
Convocation of Raleigh, 74 
Curtis, Dr. M. Ashley, 3, 53 


Davidson College, 33 

Deerfield, Mass., 10 

Delany, Rev. Henry B., 76; elected 
suffragan bishop, 103-104 

Devereaux, Thomas P., 2 

Division of the Diocese, 35-36 

Dodge, Rev. A. W., 42 

Drane, Dr. Robert B., on Chesh- 
ire's sermons, 80-81 

Dudley, Bishop T. U., 53 

Durham, N. C., 20; Cheshire or- 
ganizes church in, 23-25 




Edenton, N. C, home of Chesh- 
ire's ancestors, 2 

Edenton Academy, 2 

Edgecombe County, 19-20; his- 
tory of church in, 88-89 

Eliot, George, quotation from, 

EUicott City, i, 12 

Episcopal School for Boys, Ral- 
eigh, 2 

Erwin, William A., 114, 116 

Executive council, formed, 117- 

France, Cheshire visits, 68 
Fundamental Constitutions, 
Cheshire discusses, 97 


General Convention, Cheshire 
elected deputy to, 40; on racial 
episcopate, 102 
George, Rev. T. M. N., nomi- 
nated assistant bishop, 48 
Glenn, Gov. Robert B., 83 
Gletsch, Switzerland, 112 
Good Samaritan Hospital, 42-43, 

Graves, Professor Ralph, 22 
Graves' school, Granville County, 

Guerry, Bishop William A., 103, 

Guild of St. Martin, 32 


Halifax, 3 

Harding, Rev. Nathaniel H., 

nominated assistant bishop, 48 
Hartford, Conn., 8, 10 

Herbert, George, 93, 94 
Hillsboro, N. C., 20; Cheshire 

studies law in, 13-14 
Historiographer, Cheshire 

elected, 90 
Holler, Bill, 77-78 
Holmes, Rev. Lucian, 29 
Holt, Lawrence, 114 
Honesty, Cheshire writes essay 

on, 7 
Honorary degrees, given Chesh- 
ire, 93 
Hooper, George G., Cheshire's 

law partner, 14-15 
Hooper, Professor J. de Bemiere, 

Hooper and Cheshire, firm of, 15 
Homer, Bishop Junius Moore, 

consecrated bishop, 63 
Howard, Judge George, 14 
Howard and Perry, firm of, 14 
Hunter, Dr. A. B., 108, 112, 116 


Iredell County, 42 

Ireland, Cheshire visits, 68 

Ives, Bishop Levi Silliman, 2, 3; 

work at Valle Crucis, 56, 59; 

sketch of by Cheshire, 94 


Jackson, Bishop Henry M., 47 
Jamaica, Cheshire visits, 1 1 3 
Johns, Bishop John, advice to 

young clergymen, 21 
Johnston, WUliam H., 5 
Joint convention of 1890, 91-92 
Jones, Hamilton C, 28 
Jones, Rev. Milnor, mission work 
in the mountains, 56-59; Chesh- 
ire's estimate of, 60; life of by 
Cheshire, 96 
Jones, Sam, 43-44 
Jurisdiction of AshevUle, forma- 
tion of, 61-63 




Kerfoot, President of Trinity 
College, 9 

Lambeth Conference, Cheshire 
attends, 67-68, 109, 111-112 

Lenten services, Cheshire on, 73 

Lewis, Nell Battle, tribute to the 
Bishop, 86 

Lewis, Dr. Richard H., 5, 7, 13, 
118; Cheshire's best man, 17; 
tribute to Cheshire, 121 

Lloyd, Rev. Arthur S., nominated 
assistant bishop, 49 

Long Creek Township, 33-34 

Louisburg, N. C, 5 

Louisburg Academy, Cheshire at- 
tends, 6 

Lucas, Rev. Henry, 41 

Lyman, Bishop Theodore Bene- 
dict, 21, 24, 25, 34, 53; on divi- 
sion of Diocese, 35; estimate of 
Cheshire's work in Charlotte, 
41; asks for assistance, 46, 48; 
death of, 54; sketch of by 
Cheshire, 94 


McCoy, Columbus W., 33 
Mallett, Dr. William P., 22 
Marshall, Dr. Matthias M., 19, 35; 
nominated assistant bishop, 48 
Maryland, 9, 12 
Mecklenburg County, missions in, 

Meredith, Rev. Reuben, 79 
Methodist Church Conference, 83 
Missionary bishops for Negro 

work, 101-102 
Mitchell, Elizabeth Lansdale, mar- 
ries Bishop Cheshire, 69; death 
of, 123 

Mitchell, Rev. Walter A., 69 

Mitchell County, 57-58 

Monreath, summer home of the 
Bishop's father, 5, 12 

Monroe, N. C, Cheshire organ- 
izes church in, 32 

Mooresville, N. C, 33 

Murdoch, Dr. Francis J., Chesh- 
ire's estimate of, 47; nominated 
assistant bishop, 48; nominates 
Cheshire, 48; on Cheshire's elec- 
tion as bishop, 51 

Murray, Bishop John Gardner, 
estimate of Cheshire, 107 

Music in the church, Cheshire on, 


Negro, religion of the, 106 
Newsome, A. R., estimate of 

Cheshire as an historian, 98 
NUes, Professor William W., 9 
Nonnulla, vii, 79; discussion of, 97 


Orkneys, Cheshire visits, 68 
Osborne, Rev. Edwin A., takes 
work at Monroe and Long 
Creek, 32, 34; founds Thomp- 
son Orphanage, 42 
Outlook, 95 

Palmer, Professor George H., 94 
Pamlico Banking and Insurance 

Company, 15, 19 
Pan-Anglican Congress, 109-111 
Parker, Elizabeth Toole, 4 
Parker, Mary Toole, 4 
Parker, Theophilus, 4 
Pastoral Letter, by Cheshire, 72- 




Penick, Bishop Edwin A., elected 
bishop coadjutor, 119; proposes 
gift for Cheshire, 121, 122 

Perry, Bishop James DeWolf, 
tribute to Cheshire, 125 

Phi Kappa, Cheshire's fraternity, 

Pittsboro, N. C, 19 

Polk County, 57 

Portrait of the Bishop, 108 

Presbyterian Synod, 83 

Pynchon, Professor at Trinity, 10 


Quaker settlements in North Car- 
olina, 89 
Quin, Rev. Charles C, 30-32 
Quintard, Bishop Charles T., 53 


Racial episcopate, 103 

Ravenscroft, Bishop John Stark, 
47; sketch of by Cheshire, 94 

Ravenscroft, Raleigh, home of the 
Bishop, 120 

Roanoke River swamp. Bishop 
hunts in, 78 

Rockingham, N. C, 33 

Ruffin, Chief Justice Thomas, 13 

Ruffin, William K., Cheshire stud- 
ies law under, 13-14, 16 

St. Ambrose Church, Raleigh, 76 
St. Augustine's School, 105, 107- 

St. Clement's Hall, Cheshire 

teaches at, i, 12-13, ^^ 
St. Luke's Church, Tarboro, 

Cheshire holds first service as 

bishop in, 53 

St. Mark's Church, Mecklenburg 
County, 25; organized, 34 

St. Martin's Church, Charlotte, 
organized, 31 

St. Mary's School, founded, 63- 
64; Cheshire's opinion of, 64; 
established as a church school, 
64-66; Cheshire's daughters at- 
tend, 87; debt on, 11 3-1 14; en- 
dowment for, 114 

St. Matthew's Church, HUlsboro, 
Cheshire married in, 17; Chesh- 
ire is called to, 25 

St. Michael and All Angels, Char- 
lotte, organized, 30, 31, 99 

St. Michael's Industrial School, 
Charlotte, 104-105 

St. Paul's Church, Edenton, 2, 80 

St. Paul's Church, Macon, Ga., 
Cheshire receives call to, 41 

St. Paul's Church, Winston- 
Salem, 25, 55 

St. Peter's Church, Charlotte, 28, 
36; Cheshire is called to, 26 

St. Peter's Home and Hospital, 
organized, 29, 30 

St. Philip's Church, Durham, 24- 

Saluda conference, 66 
Saunders, Col. William L., 89-90 
Scotland, Cheshire visits, 68 
Scotland Neck, 3 
Sermons, Cheshire discusses, 21-22 
Sessums, Bishop Davis, 53 
Shepherd, John Avery, 12 
Smedes, Dr. Aldert, 63 
Smedes, Dr. Bennett, 63, 64, 66 
Smedes, Rev. John E. C, 19, 25; 

verses to Cheshire, 51-52 
Society of the Cincinnati, Chesh- 
ire becomes member of, 93 
State Literary and Historical 
Association, Cheshire elected 
president of, 97 
Strange, Rev, Robert B., 92 
Suffragan bishops, for Negro 
work, 101-104 



Sutton, Rev. Robert B., 19, 20 
Switzerland, Cheshire visits, 68, 

Tarboro, N. G., 14-15, 17; de- 
scription of, 2 

Tarboro Building and Loan As- 
sociation, 15-16 

Tarboro Male Academy, Chesh- 
ire attends, 5, 7, 13 

Thompson Orphanage, Charlotte, 


Trinity Church, Scotland Neck, 3 

Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., 
Cheshire enters, 8-9; graduates 
from, 11-12; confers degree on 
Cheshire, 93; Cheshire visits, 124 

Tryon, N. C, 56 

"Tuttle Prize," Cheshire wins, 11 


University of North Carolina, 5, 
6, 8, 19, 87; confers degree on 
Cheshire, 93 

University of the South, Chesh- 
ire made trustee of, 39-40; 
Cheshire's son attends, 87; con- 
fers degree on Cheshire, 93 


Valle Crucis, Cheshire revives 
work at, 56-57, 59 


Watauga County, missions in, 57- 

Watauga River, 56, 77 

Watson, Bishop Alfred A., 25, 53 

Webb, Annie Huske, Cheshire 

meets, 16; marries Cheshire, 17; 

death of, 67 
Weed, Bishop Edwin G., 53 
Weeks, Stephen B., 49 n. 
West Indies, Archbishop of, 113 
Wetmore, Rev. George B., 34 
Whipple, Bishop Henry B., 47 
Wilkes, John, 27-28, 32 
Wilkes, Mrs. John, 42-43 
Wilkinson, Frank S., 5, 7-8 
Williams, Bishop John, 10- 11 
Wilson, President Woodrow, 115 
Winchester, Rev. J. R., 47 
Windsor, N. C, 3 
Winston, Professor George T., 22 

York, Archbishop of, Cheshire 
visits, 68 

Date Due 


Jhi\ i» ■;-;, 

1 I 

SEP 9^ 

NOV 4 

i^i' , 


JUN ? 2 79 


J53I4 ^ \ '80 

FEB C i X3 


'JUN 06^ 

MH 2 6 •« 


JUN 3 '87 


JUN '^ 7 198 

3 I 




Form 335— !0M— 6 


Sch.R, 922.373 C524L 400333 

^j ,;.-:':. J 'Ci